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Consumer Advocacy Center Inc., d/b/a Premier Student Loan Center; True Count Staffing Inc., d/b/a SL Account Management; Prime Consulting LLC, d/b/a Financial Preparation Services; Albert Kim; Kaine Wen; and Tuong Nguyen

On October 21, 2019, the Bureau filed a complaint and sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in federal court in the Central District of California against Consumer Advocacy Center Inc., d/b/a Premier Student Loan Center (Premier); True Count Staffing Inc., d/b/a SL Account Management (True Count); Prime Consulting LLC, d/b/a Financial Preparation Services (Prime); Albert Kim; Kaine Wen; and Tuong Nguyen. The Bureau alleges the debt relief companies operate as a common enterprise and have engaged in deceptive practices and charged unlawful advance fees in connection with the marketing and sale of student loan debt relief services to consumers. The Bureau also alleges the individuals substantially assisted the student loan debt relief companies. The complaint also names several relief defendants and seeks disgorgement of those relief defendants’ ill-gotten gains. The court granted the request for the temporary restraining order on October 21, 2019. The court entered a stipulated preliminary injunction on November 15, 2019.

The Bureau filed a first amended complaint on February 24, 2020. The CFPB’s amended complaint seeks an injunction against defendants, as well as damages, redress to consumers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and the imposition of a civil money penalty. The amended complaint also names several additional defendants and relief defendants.

On August 26, 2020, the court entered a corrected, amended stipulated final judgment as to defendants Prime and Horizon Consultants LLC (Horizon). The order imposes a judgment of $95,057,757 against Prime to provide redress to consumers. Horizon is jointly and severally liable for $12,942,045 of this amount. Full payment of these amounts is suspended based on Prime’s and Horizon’s demonstrated inability to pay following, among other things, their turnover of assets and their payment of a $1 civil money penalty to the Bureau. The order also bans Prime and Horizon from telemarketing or offering or providing debt relief services.

On August 28, 2020, the court entered a stipulated final judgment and order as to defendant Tuong Nguyen and relief defendant TN Accounting Inc. The order imposes a judgment of $95,057,757 against Nguyen to provide redress to consumers. Relief defendant TN Accounting is jointly and severally liable for $444,563 of this amount. Full payment of these amounts is suspended based on their demonstrated inability to pay following, among other things, Nguyen and TN Accounting’s turnover of assets and Nguyen’s payment of a $1 civil money penalty to the Bureau. The order also bans Nguyen from telemarketing or offering or providing debt relief services.

On September 8, 2020, the court entered a stipulated final judgment as to relief defendants Hold the Door, Corp. and Mice and Men LLC. The order imposes a judgment of $1,638,687 against relief defendant Hold the Door and $5,041,069 against relief defendant Mice and Men to provide redress to consumers. Full payment of these amounts will be suspended based on their demonstrated inability to pay following their turnover of assets.

On December 15, 2020, the court entered a default judgment against First Priority LLC and True Count Staffing Inc. The order imposes a judgment of $55,360,817.14 and $165,848.05 against True Count and First Priority, respectively, to provide redress to consumers. The order also requires True Count to pay a $30 million penalty, of which $29,850,000 is payable to the Bureau. It also requires First Priority to pay $3.75 million in penalties, of which $2,470,000 is payable to the Bureau. The order also bans the defaulted defendants from telemarketing or offering or providing debt relief services.

The Bureau filed a second amended complaint on April 20, 2021, adding additional claims and an additional relief defendant.

On June 15, 2021, the court entered a stipulated final judgment and order as to relief defendant Judy Dai. The order imposes a judgment of $3,088,381.80 against Dai for the purpose of providing redress to consumers.

On July 1, 2021, the court entered a stipulated final judgment and order as to relief defendants 1st Generation Holdings, LLC (1st Generation) and Infinite Management Corp (Infinite Management). The order imposes a judgment of $3,984,779.28 and $2,049,189.07 against 1st Generation and Infinite Management, respectively, for the purpose of providing redress to consumers. Full payment of the amount imposed on Infinite will be suspended based on its demonstrated inability to pay following its turnover of assets.

On July 14, 2021, the court entered a stipulated final judgment and order as to defendant Consumer Advocacy Center, Inc. (CAC). The order imposes a judgment of $35,105,017.93 against CAC for the purpose of providing consumer redress. The amount of redress to be collected will be based on the amount recovered by the bankruptcy trustee and the resolution of multiple claims against the CAC bankruptcy estate. The Court also imposed a $1 civil money penalty in favor of the Bureau and against the CAC bankruptcy estate. The court also permanently restrained CAC from participating in any debt-relief service or telemarketing any consumer financial product.

The Bureau filed a third amended complaint on August 5, 2021, to remove remaining claims as to a defendant against whom a stipulated final judgment was previously entered.

On March 22, 2022, the court entered a stipulated final judgement and order as to defendant TAS 2019 LLC. The order imposes a judgment of $2,866,314.24 in consumer redress, a $1 civil money penalty, and injunctive relief permanently banning TAS 2019 LLC from participating in any debt relief service or telemarketing any consumer financial product.

The case remains pending against remaining defendants Albert Kim, Kaine Wen, and relief defendant Sarah Kim. Additionally, claims against relief defendant Anan Enterprise, Inc. are currently stayed pending the outcome of a bankruptcy adversary action filed in the Southern District of Florida.

Related documents

Complaint – Oct 21, 2019

Amended complaint – Feb 24, 2020

Corrected, amended stipulated final judgment and order - Prime Consulting LLC and Horizon Consultants LLC – Aug 26, 2020

Stipulated final judgment and order - Tuong Nguyen and TN Accounting – Aug 28, 2020

Stipulated final judgment and order - Hold the Door Corp. and Mice and Men LLC – Sep 08, 2020

Default judgment and order - First Priority LLC and True Count Staffing Inc. – Dec 15, 2020

Second amended complaint – Apr 20, 2021

Stipulated Final Judgement and Order - Judy Dai – Jun 15, 2021

Stipulated Final Judgment and Order - 1st Generation and Infinite Management – Jul 01, 2021

Stipulated Final Judgment and Order - Consumer Advocacy Center – Jul 14, 2021

Third amended complaint – Aug 05, 2021

Stipulated Final Judgment and Order - TAS 2019 LLC – March 22, 2022

Press release

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announces Action Against Student Loan Debt Relief Operation