LOS ANGELES (CN) - First Time Credit Solution, of Bell, Calif. preys on Spanish-speakers, "bilking consumers on a daily basis," by falsely claiming affiliation with the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC claims in court.
The company operates under a number of names, including FTC Credit Solutions, 1st Consumer Credit USA, and Doctor de Crédito, the FTC claims in its March 16 federal complaint.
"Defendants are bilking consumers on a daily basis, charging each victim approximately $2,000 for their fraudulent services," the FTC says.
"They falsely pose as affiliates or licensees of the federal government, namely the Federal Trade Commission, claiming that these credentials enable them to remove negative information from consumers' credit reports, eliminate debts, and guarantee consumers a credit score of 700 or higher within six months or less."
On its website, ftccreditsolutions.org, the company calls its office on Florence Avenue in Bell its "main office," and claims to have offices in San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Miami and Chicago, according to the 21-page lawsuit.
The FTC also sued marketing director Guillermo Leyes, who filed for bankruptcy in February; CEO Jimena Perez; vice president sales accountant Maria Bernal; and CFO Fermin Campos.
In a Spanish-language radio ad, Leyes says: "I have a license direct[ly] from the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission," the FTC says in the complaint.
In a phone call from an undercover FTC investigator, defendant Bernal said: "We work under the Federal Trade Commission, which is a law that was signed by the president in 2010, so that all the negative, all the stains can be deleted," the FTC says.
The FTC is not amused.
It seeks an injunction and penalties for misrepresentation, deceptive trade, violations of the FTC Act and the Credit Repair Organizations Act.