FTC takes down Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc.'s fraud network

Patience is a virtue. So is persistence.

Three years ago, the FTC temporarily halted a sophisticated scheme run by Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc., a Nevada corporation, that defrauded millions of consumers out of tens of millions of dollars. Here’s how it worked: The defendants bought consumer payday loan applications, including Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, from data brokers and payday loan websites. Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc. used the information to take money from consumers’ bank accounts — without their OK or even their knowledge. So the court froze the defendants’ assets and appointed a receiver to control the business while awaiting trial.

Fast forward to March 2016: All seven of the defendants — Jared Mosher, Steven Sunyich, Christopher Sunyich, Michael Sunyich, Melissa Sunyich Gardner, Shawn Sunyich, and Kent Brown — are banned from collecting or disclosing consumer account numbers except for transactions specifically authorized by the consumer. The court also banned Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc.'s ringleaders — Jared Mosher, Steven Sunyich, and Christopher Sunyich — from the marketing, sale, and handling of any credit-related products or services. In addition, the court imposed a $43 million judgment for the harm the defendants caused their victims. Kent Brown and Shawn Sunyich separately settled for $25 million in suspended judgments.

The FTC’s case against Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc. led it to two of the data brokers, LeapLab and Sequoia One, that made the fraud possible. The FTC also sued them to stop them from selling consumer identities to other scams.

The lesson for consumers? Think long and hard before you give out your Social Security number or bank or credit card information. Sometimes, you have to, if you want the service or offer. But stop and think: what do you know about the company, their website, or how they’ll protect your information? If you think something has gone amiss with information you’ve already shared, tell the FTC.

 

[Note: Edited August 26, 2016, to specify that the Nevada-based company name is Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc.]

 

Comments

Discover Bank and it's partner Smith,Debnam should be next to be taken down by the FTC for harassment, making threats, intimidation, and bullying U.S. consumers & U.S. citizens. I pray that this day will come soon...I pray.

Thank you so much and keep up the good work. Those who prey on economically disadvantaged "folks" need swift and severe consequences. Please get this out to the press so that as many as possible are aware of the potential for harm.

And they are doing how much jail time?

Thank you for helping. I feel so stupid, been taken twice, and the third one says he will reimburse me 3x what I lost for a $186.00 sent by me Western Union. He claimed he is the Commissioner of Ivory Coast.

All thieves of tens of millions of dollars should be in prison for a very long time. Is it in the constitution that theft is not to result in prison? NO

Thank you for the work you do. I sincerely appreciate hearing of your endeavors and your successes.

So how or what are you supposed to do? . Whatever you go to shop they got your information. Some services today are not provided but through the computer.

Just hoping the proceeds from the suits went to complete restoration of consumers account losses. The suits and sanctions don't mean a thing to these criminals. Long jail time would offer closure to the consumers. Without it they will just spring up with another scam under another name. What ever happened to the meaning of real punishment? Hope their wrists aren't too red from the slap.

These type of people should get a long term, 50 years or more in prison.

Thanks for the information.

Great work! I love it when bad people are stopped!!! Thank you :)

Why no jail time for these scum?

The FTC is a civil enforcement agency. The FTC’s civil enforcement actions shut down fraud and get restitution for consumers or disgorgement to the U.S. Treasury. In some cases, the FTC partners with the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys and other federal and state criminal law enforcers to stop fraud against consumers. Other agencies may have criminal enforcement authority.

So why isn't anyone in jail?

Well done FTC!

Why are there no prison terms when the FTC addresses obvious theft such as this case?

I've been scammed out of over $13000 in various ways. Such as inheritance, lottery, and sweepstakes. I currently am trying to stop others from being victimized

Very good but how about jail time or execution

This scamming with landlines and cell phones is totally out of hand. We live in a technical world, don't we? Make them stop!

A caller called me stated my last 4 digits of my social and stated my first and unmarried last name, a address I no longer live at and what bank I bank at

I am not sure who to contact about this envelope I received in the mail, it contained a check for $2,930.00 along with telling me what to do with the money. I had signed up to be a secret shopper, but I am intelligent enough to know they are not going to pay me for services that I had not completed! If you can advise me on how to handle this I would appreciate your time & response. Sincerely, Linda

This may be a scam. Please see the FTC article, Mystery Shopper Scams, for more information.

A similar thing happened to me and I gave all the info including the envelope it came in to the Post Master in my town.

Glad to know the FTC stops scams and closes fraudulent activities, but why not sentence the perps to prision? They are predators who will find other ways of stealing the publics resources. Put them in the pen!

Receive a call at least once a week from 877-589-7822 or similar #. Saying I took out a payday loan in 2011, saying I've defaulted, threatening law enforcement serving me a warrant. Have ALOT of personal information (i.e. last four SS#, where I worked, address. attorney's name, etc.)

I had something similar.. They caught me off gaurd. It was scary how much info they had.. And kept asking about my military service, which made no sense as to why they'd even need that info.

Meanwhile I'm on the lam because they tried to kill me and threatened my family. To date I have no safe net.

Help me know who to talk to

I will be 73 yrs old in two weeks. I borrowed from a fast loan place over a year ago, paid it on time, and now I borrowed again. However, I owe 700 and they added on another thousand for interest. I live on a fixed income for social security and just feel stupid that I did this. What can I do. I have nothing.

The federal government has a website that could help you find resources in your community.The website is Eldercare.gov.

The site has a list of different kinds of help that are available.  For example, you can look for financial help or legal help in your area. Local agencies can see if you're eligible for financial help with food, medicine, home repairs, etc.

If you think the lender did not follow the law when it gave you the money, you can report it to your state Attorney General’s office.

I think it's utterly disgusting how these "people" or Monsters can live with themselves knowing they are scamming people! I hope they get what's coming to them in this life! I feel so sorry for people that don't know not to give their information out and hope that the FTC can help the public by placing billboards with the money they make from judgements - saying things to educate the public! No mercy on these crooks!

I agree. I've been taken 3 times, paying 2 collectors for debt past SOL to collect and Internet coaching program. Get a real job! I feel so stupid but I will not ever be that way again. I will check everything here and report anything suspect. Thank you ftc!

Thank you for your hard work and success in halting these types of criminals. Who to contact if the organization of scammers are in a different country (outside of the US)?

If you're in the US - even if you think the scammer is outside the US - you can report a scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

You can also file a complaint at econsumer.gov. That's a partnership of 36 consumer protection agencies worldwide.

I have been called constantly daily for last 3 mnths. originally from company identifying as GTI HOLDINGS for a advance loan made in Feb. 2013. Told gentlemen I had made no such loan and hung up. They were constantly calling leaving robo messages saying that I would be turned over to further collections and judgement unless I returned their call. Did once and no one answer. Now I have Compliance Management Solutions calling with the lady name of Tory Wilson area code 318-588-7679 ext 3013 that I had faulted on a loan from feb 2013. That my bank was paying on the loan but stopped with fraud alert. I told her I have not had fraud alert on my bank account and I have not made any loan for $500.00. That those people are just loan sharks. She said that with the unpaid balance and interest that has added up with fees the balance was now over $2,000 but since the government has frowned on companies with high interest rates they had to lower it to $1,003.26 as of 5-26-16. She said they had the authority to accept $600.00 yesterday and the account would be closed and I would not be contacted again otherwise they were fixing to issue a judgement on me. I told her I have asked for the name of the lender, the amt borrowed, amt my bank supposedly had paid and original date of borrowing. She said at this point of legal system all she had to give me was a paid in full letter upon receipt yesterday or promissory note to pay balance. I told her I have never received any information from any lender or borrower in 3 years that any money was ever owed. I asked for her address and she said she could not give that information out. Even threatening her with my lawyer did not work and she said tell your lawyer to call me today that they open at 9AM. My brother called that number after 5p yesterday and it did not leave message like a business would do that they are closed for the day and call back at a certain time. He said it was a cell phone number. These people have my address, last 4 ss#'s, place of employment, and they have been calling my daughter and my son in law. I googled GTI holdings and it stated that they went out of business in mid 2013 and had written off all debt by June 2014 currently have no relationships with any debt colletors. I mentioned to the lady about GTI holdings going out of business and mid 2013 and she maam I don't know about what the BBB says, but GTI Holdings is a business. Could someome with the FTC read this complaint and please help me what to do. I am a widow whom I lost my husband to cancer Dec. 9 2014. Ever since he passed I have been getting all kinds of people wanted donations and numbers that only show unavailable. I cry everyday, I am scared to answer the phone. I get 4 to 6 calls a days from numbers that are unavailable. I got a scam yesterday from someone pretending to be with the breast cancer fund!!! I shouldn't have to be scared in my own home. Please tell me what to do!

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Here is some information from the FTC that you may find helpful:

  1. Regarding the calls from people who claim to be debt collectors: You have rights. Among them: A legitimate debt collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. The notice has to include the name of the creditor you owe money to, and what you can do if you don’t think you owe the money. Read Debt Collection to learn more about your rights. Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your Attorney General’s office can help you determine your rights under your state’s law.
  1. You can block unwanted phone calls. Here’s how: If you’re getting repeated calls from the same number, your phone company may be able to block that number, but first ask whether there’s a fee for this service. If you’re getting unwanted calls from a lot of different numbers, look into a call blocking solution. There are online call blocking services, call blocking boxes, and smartphone apps that block unwanted calls. Do an online search to look for reviews from experts and other users, and find out whether the service costs money. Our article, Phone Scams, and blog post, Reducing Robocalls: Practical Tips & Tricks, have additional info that might be helpful.
  1. If you haven’t already, sign up for the Do Not Call Registry. Most legitimate companies don't call if your number is on the Registry. If a company is ignoring the Registry, there’s a good chance that it’s a scam and you should report it to the FTC.
  1. These days, charities and fundraisers (groups that solicit funds on behalf of organizations) use the phone, face-to-face contact, email, the internet (including social networking sites), and mobile devices to solicit and obtain donations. Naturally, scammers use these same methods to take advantage of your goodwill. The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a way to reduce telemarketing calls, but it exempts charities and political groups. However, if a fundraiser is calling on behalf of a charity, you may ask not to get any more calls from, or on behalf of, that specific charity. If those calls continue, the fundraiser may be subject to a fine.
  1. Lastly, please file a complaint with the FTC.  Unfortunately, we cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments. Complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. Watch this video to learn how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters.

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