A company that made cash advances to small businesses has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that will see the defendants pay $675,000 while also being permanently banned from participating in any debt collection activities.
A copy of the stipulated order for permanent injunction and monetary judgment in the case of FTC v. RCG Advances et al can be accessed by clicking here. The defendants are RCG Advances, which was formerly known as Richmond Capital Group and also doing business as Viceroy Capital Funding and Ram Capital Funding, and Robert Giardina, Jonathan Braun, and Tzvi Reich.
The defendants were sued by the FTC last year for allegedly using deception and threats to seize personal and business assets from the companies to which were lent money. The defendants were accused of misrepresenting the terms of the cash advances that were being provided and then using unfair collection practices, including threatening physical violence, as a means of inducing people to repay the debts. The defendants were accused of telling one consumer that his jaw would be broken if he did not repay his debt and another consumer was told he would be accused of being a child molester if he did not pay.
Along with the fine and the permanent ban from collecting debts, the defendants are also permanently barred from working with consumers to help them apply for, or to collect from, any payment associated with exchanging funds for future receivables, revenues, or proceeds. The defendants are also permanently enjoined from obtaining any customer information of a financial institution by making false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements. As well, within 30 days of the settlement, the defendants are also required to file motions to dismiss in any case in which they were acting as plaintiffs, terminate all liens held where the defendants are listed as a creditor, and update credit reports of their customers to remove negative or derogatory information.