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Sunday, May 19, 2024

FTC Sends More Than $10 Million in Refunds to Consumers Harmed by Real Estate Investment Training Scheme

The Federal Trade Commission is sending more than $10 million in refunds to consumers who paid for a real estate investment training program that allegedly made empty promises about earning big profits “flipping” houses. 

The FTC and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection sued Response Marketing Group, LLC in November 2019, alleging that the company, its affiliates Nudge, LLC and BuyPD, LLC, and its principals, used false promises to sell consumers a series of expensive real estate investment training programs. The FTC later named two real estate celebrities as additional defendants – Scott Yancey, who was the star of the home-flipping show Flipping Vegas, and Dean R. Graziosi, the author of Millionaire Success Habits. Yancey and Graziosi promoted the training programs and were involved in efforts to bury online customer complaints that said Response Marketing failed to deliver on its promises or that it was a scam, according to the amended complaint.

The company and its principals agreed to a settlement that permanently banned them from selling “wealth creation” products and services anywhere in the country and required them to pay $15 million to be used for refunds. Graziosi and Yancey also agreed to settlements requiring them to pay an additional $1.7 million.

The FTC is sending payments to 4,670 consumers. Most consumers will receive checks by mail. Recipients should cash their checks within 90 days, as indicated on the check. Eligible consumers who did not have an address on file will receive a PayPal payment, which should be redeemed within 30 days. In addition, the FTC is sending claim notices to nearly 400 consumers who previously filed a complaint about Response Marketing. Consumers who paid for the defendant’s real estate investment training programs are eligible to file a claim for payment.

Consumers who have questions about their payment or the claims process should contact the refund administrator, JND Legal Administration, at 877-871-0474 or visit the FTC website to view frequently asked questions about the refund process. The Commission never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund.

The Commission’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of refunds in FTC cases. In 2023, FTC actions led to $324 million in refunds to consumers across the country.

Official news published at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2024/03/ftc-sends-more-10-million-refunds-consumers-harmed-real-estate-investment-training-scheme

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