A federal court has found BlueHippo Funding LLC, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission, along with Joseph Rensin in contempt for operating a deceptive computer financing scheme in violation of a federal court order that defendants agreed to in 2008. The court also entered judgment against Rensin, CEO of BlueHippo, for $13.4 million, the harm consumers suffered as a result of the scheme.
“This scheme preyed on cash-strapped consumers looking for computers to improve their lives and the lives of their children,” said Jessica Rich, the Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This case shows that the FTC not only takes decisive action against wrongdoers, but also does whatever it takes to see the case through to a fair conclusion.”
BlueHippo was charged with contempt by the FTC in 2009, alleging, that between April and December of 2008, they flouted the 2008 order by contracting with thousands of consumers to finance new computers, but in most instances failing to provide the computers and failing to disclose key aspects of their refund policy.
After a hearing, the court found that the 2008 order was in fact violated by the defendants, but awarded consumer redress of only $609,000. The FTC prevailed on its appeal of the redress awards, and ultimately the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a $13,400,627.60 judgment on April 19, 2016.