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'Rachel' from 'Cardholder Services' settles with feds

Posted by: Jane Friedmann under Advertising claims, Businesses in hot water, Buyer beware, Scams, Whistleblower Updated: July 12, 2013 - 1:49 PM

Whistleblower has been on the trail of Rachel from Cardholder Services for years. Rachel has been the voice behind millions of illegal robocalls made over the years, pitching credit card rate reductions.

Now, the companies and people behind one robocalling scheme that used the voice of "Rachel" from "Cardholder Services" and charged up-front fees for services never provided must surrender their assets and stop scheming, according to an announcement by the Federal Trade Commission Friday.

Several companies and two individuals, all associated with the Florida company A+ Financial Center, made millions of illegal robocalls offering to obtain a reduction in the credit card interest rate consumers were paying.

The companies called phone numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry and collected upfront fees of between $495 and $1,595 by promising rates as low as zero percent, the FTC said.

"The defendants did little if anything to help consumers lower their credit card interest rates," the FTC said.

The group is banned from robocalling, trying to sell debt relief services and making misrepresentations related to any sales attempts. The defendants may not try to collect money from past victims.

A $9.2 million judgment was entered against A+ Financial Center, LLC, Christopher L. Miano and Dana M. Miano and a handful of other businesses managed by the Mianos. The judgment will be suspended once they turn over all but $25,000 of their assets, including a 2007 Mercedes Benz Cl and two boats worth a total of about $62,000.

The original complaint was filed by the FTC in October in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the district in which the Mianos resided.



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