At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal district court has banned seven individuals, Ideal Financial Solutions Inc., and its subsidiaries from collecting or disclosing consumer information. The defendants operated a scam on a massive scale that took money from consumers’ bank accounts without their permission, until the FTC filed its lawsuit in 2013.
“These defendants bought sensitive personal information from data brokers and used it to steal people’s money,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Misusing sensitive data causes real harm to consumers, and I’m pleased that the court banned the defendants from this conduct.”
Payday loan applications were purchased from data brokers and payday loan websites by the defendants, which included Social Security and bank account numbers. They then used the information to defraud consumers. To end the problem, several of the data brokers who sold consumers’ information to Ideal Financial was sued by the FTC, these data brokers include Sitesearch Corp, also known as LeapLab, Gen X Marketing Group LLC and Sequoia One LLC.
The court imposed a $43,083,720 judgment against Ideal Financial Solutions and its subsidiaries, Steven Sunyich, Christopher Sunyich, Michael Sunyich, and Melissa Sunyich Gardner, and a $36,575,542 judgment against Jared Mosher. The court banned Jared Mosher, Steven Sunyich and Christopher Sunyich, the ringleaders, from marketing, selling and handling any credit-related products or services. It banned all of the defendants from disclosing consumer account information numbers except for transactions expressly authorized by the consumer.
Kent Brown and Shawn Suntich were banned from placing unauthorized charges on consumer financial accounts and collecting and disclosing consumer financial information without the consumer’s express consent in June 2014. The orders imposed suspended $25 million judgments against each defendant, and Brown was required to liquidate his assets and turn them over to the FTC.
On February 23, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada entered the final judgment against the remaining defendants.