Have a Claim?

Click here for a confidential contact or call:

1-212-350-2774

Other Federal Enforcement Actions

Numerous federal agencies have authority to institute enforcement proceedings against wrongdoers.  These agencies include:

  • The Department of the Treasury and its divisions including the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), which is responsible for safeguarding the U.S. financial system from illicit use and money laundering including through enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which enforces economic and trade sanctions. Whistleblowers with knowledge of violations of the Bank Secrecy Act can submit a claim under the Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Program.  Violations of other laws enforced by the Department of Treasury may give rise to claims under different whistleblower reward programs.
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is charged with preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices. The FTC can bring enforcement actions under U.S. antitrust laws and to stop unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. The FTC does not have any authority to pay financial rewards to whistleblowers; however, conduct that is regulated by the FTC may also give rise to a claim under a different whistleblower reward program.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which regulates the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services under the federal consumer financial laws, and has the authority to bring enforcement actions against financial service providers. While the CFPB accepts tips from whistleblowers, and applicable laws offer whistleblowers protection from retaliation, there is currently no provision for CFPB whistleblowers to receive financial rewards. However, conduct that is regulated by the CFPB may also give rise to a claim under a different whistleblower reward program.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, which enforces federal environmental laws and regulations. The EPA does not currently have any authority to pay financial rewards to whistleblowers; however, conduct that is regulated by the EPA may also give rise to a claim under a different whistleblower reward program, and a number of federal environmental laws protect government or private employees reporting environmental violations under the statutes from retaliation.

Below are summaries of recent settlements and successful enforcement actions involving these agencies. If you believe you have information about fraud which could give rise to a claim under a whistleblower reward program, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced whistleblower attorneys.

April 27, 2017

The CFPB took action against four online lenders – Golden Valley Lending, Inc., Silver Cloud Financial, Inc., Mountain Summit Financial, Inc., and Majestic Lake Financial, Inc. – for deceiving consumers by collecting debt they were not legally owed. The complaint was filed in federal court and alleges that the four lenders could not legally collect on these debts because the loans were void under state laws governing interest rate caps or the licensing of lenders. It also alleges that the lenders made deceptive demands and illegally took money from consumer bank accounts for debts that consumers did not legally owe. CFPB

April 26, 2017

April 26 – The CFPB took action against Security National Automotive Acceptance Company (SNAAC), an auto lender specializing in loans to servicemembers, for violating a Bureau consent order. In 2015, the CFPB ordered SNAAC to pay both redress and a civil penalty for illegal debt collection tactics, including making threats to contact servicemembers’ commanding officers about debts and exaggerating the consequences of not paying. SNAAC failed to provide more than $1 million in refunds and credits, affecting more than 1,000 consumers. The CFPB’s order requires SNAAC to make good on the redress it owes to those consumers and pay an additional $1.25 million penalty. CFPB

April 24, 2017

At the FTC’s request, a federal court has ordered Timothy L. Ford, the president of Commercial Recovery Systems Inc. (CRS), to pay a $2 million civil penalty for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by falsely threatening debtors. The court judgment resolves a case filed on the FTC’s behalf by the Department of Justice in January 2015, alleging that CRS’s collectors falsely claimed the company would sue debtors, garnish their wages, levy their bank accounts, or seize their property unless their debts were paid. FTC

April 20, 2017

The CFPB sued one of the country’s largest nonbank mortgage loan servicers, Ocwen Financial Corporation, and its subsidiaries for years of widespread errors, shortcuts, and runarounds that cost some borrowers money and others their homes. Ocwen allegedly botched basic functions like sending accurate monthly statements, properly crediting payments, and handling taxes and insurance. Allegedly, Ocwen also illegally foreclosed on struggling borrowers, ignored customer complaints, and sold off the servicing rights to loans without fully disclosing the mistakes it made in borrowers’ records. CFPB

April 18, 2017

The FTC has approved final consent orders settling charges that iSpring Water Systems, LLC, a Georgia-based distributor of water filtration systems, and Block Division, Inc., a Texas-based distributor of pulley block systems, made misleading Made-in-the-USA claims. The FTC’s complaint against iSpring alleged that the company’s unqualified claims that its products are built in the United States deceived consumers. In many instances – despite iSpring’s false, misleading or unsupported claims – its products either are wholly imported or are made using a significant amount of inputs from overseas. The FTC’s complaint against Block Division alleged that for a period of several years, the company’s pulleys featured imported steel plates that were stamped “Made in USA” before they entered the United States. FTC

April 14, 2017

The FTC has approved final orders with three companies resolving allegations that they deceived consumers by misrepresenting their participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system. The APEC CBPR system facilitates privacy-respecting data transfers between APEC member economies through a voluntary, enforceable mechanism, which certifies companies as being compliant with APEC CBPR program requirements. Like the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks that also facilitate privacy-respecting data transfers between different countries, the APEC CBPR system is backstopped by FTC enforcement. In separate complaints, the FTC charged that Sentinel Labs, Inc., which provides endpoint protection software to enterprise customers, SpyChatter, Inc., marketer of the SpyChatter private message app, and Vir2us, Inc., which distributes cyber security software, falsely represented in their online privacy policies that they participated in the APEC CBPR system. FTC

April 4, 2017

The FTC and Amazon Inc. have agreed to end appeals related to last year’s court findings that the company billed consumers for unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children, paving the way for affected consumers to seek refunds from the online retailer shortly. A federal district court found in April 2016 that Amazon billed consumers for unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children using mobile apps such as online games downloaded through the company’s app store. The court found that Amazon failed to get parents’ consent for in-app charges made by their children. FTC

March 31, 2017

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved final consent orders with CarMax, Asbury Automotive Group and West-Herr Automotive Group, settling charges that they touted how rigorously they inspect their used cars, yet failed to adequately disclose that some of the cars were subject to unrepaired safety recalls. The final orders announced today prohibit CarMax, Asbury and West-Herr from claiming that their used vehicles are safe, have been repaired for safety issues, or have been subject to a rigorous inspection, unless they are free of open recalls, or the companies clearly and conspicuously disclose that their vehicles may be subject to unrepaired recalls for safety issues and explain how consumers can determine a vehicle’s recall status. The orders also prohibit the companies from misrepresenting material facts about the safety or recall status of the used cars they advertise. FTC

March 24, 2017

The FTC has charged a group of online marketers with deceptively luring consumers with “free” and “risk-free” trials for cooking gadgets, golf equipment, and access to related online subscription services. According to the FTC, the defendants asked people for their credit card information to cover shipping and handling, and then charged them for products and services without their consent. The FTC’s complaint alleges that Brian Bernheim, Joshua Bernheim, Jared Coates, Robert Koch AAFE Products Corp., JBE International LLC, BSDC Inc., KADC Inc., Purestrike Inc., and BNRI Corp., formerly known as Bernheim and Rice Inc., violated the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act. According to the complaint, the defendants’ websites, TV infomercials and email deceived consumers by prominently claiming that their products and services were free, without clearly disclosing that they would start charging consumers if they did not cancel their “free trial” or return the “free” products. They also misrepresented their return, refund and cancellation policies. FTC

March 23, 2017

The CFPB took action against Experian and its subsidiaries for deceiving consumers about the use of credit scores it sold to consumers. Experian falsely claimed the credit scores it marketed and provided to consumers were used by lenders to make credit decisions. The CFPB ordered Experian to truthfully represent how its credit scores are used and pay a civil penalty of $3 million. CFPB
1 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 30

Learn about Whistleblower Rewards Programs