Two Florida companies and their CEO will be barred from offering payment-processing services to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that they aided a criminal student debt relief scam that bilked $62 million from thousands of students and their families.
Moneta Management, Moneta Management Inc., and their CEO Michael Todd Greene provided false information to credit card and Automated Clearing House processors to obtain merchant processing for the scam operated by Brandon Frere and his three companies, according to the FTC’s lawsuit.
Frere and his companies reached a settlement with the FTC in November 2020 and also pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in 2019.
Greene and his companies submitted payment processing applications that hid Frere’s scam, denied that Frere and his companies were offering consumers prohibited debt relief services, and ignored warnings and evidence that Frere’s scam was defrauding consumers, according to the lawsuit.
The accounts that Greene and his companies helped create for Frere’s scam allowed the processing of credit card and debit payments from consumers.
In addition to barring Greene and his two companies from payment processing, the settlement states that they can’t act as a sales agent or independent sales organization and assist and facilitate unfair and deceptive trade practices.
The order also imposes a $28.6 million judgment on Greene and his companies, which will be partially suspended after payment of $20,493 due to their inability to pay the full amount. They’ll be required to pay the total if they’re misrepresented their finances.