Global Financial Support, Inc. d/b/a Student Financial Resource Center, d/b/a College Financial Advisory; and Armond Aria a/k/a Armond Amir Aria
On October 29, 2015, the Bureau filed a complaint against Global Financial Support, Inc. (Global Financial), which operates under the names Student Financial Resource Center and College Financial Advisory, and its owner and CEO, Armond Aria. The Bureau alleged that the defendants issued marketing letters instructing students to fill out a form and pay a fee in exchange for the company providing a financial aid program or conducting extensive searches to target or match students with individualized financial aid opportunities. The Bureau also alleged that consumers who paid the fee received nothing or a generic booklet that failed to provide individualized advice. The Bureau also alleged that the defendants misrepresented their affiliation with government and university financial aid offices and pressured consumers to enroll through deceptive statements. On January 25, 2021, the court granted in part the Bureau’s motion for partial summary judgment against Armond Aria and default judgment against Global Financial, finding that 76,000 consumers purchased Global Financial’s “program” based on its misrepresentations. On February 16, 2021, the Bureau filed an amended complaint dismissing the remaining claims against Aria. On March 29, 2021, the court entered a final judgment and order against both defendants imposing injunctive relief, $4,738,028 in restitution to consumers, and a $10 million civil money penalty. Armond Aria filed an appeal of the final judgment to the Ninth Circuit on May 19, 2021. On December 13, 2022, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision in its entirety. On February 27, 2023, Aria filed a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc, which the court denied on April 14, 2023.