A person who was hit with a suspended penalty for scamming consumers about a mortgage relief company was also found to have scammed the FTC about his ability to pay, and has been ordered to make amends.
The court judgment is against Mark Nagy Atalla, whose company collected between $1,495 and $4,495 from consumers upfront in exchange for the promise of lower mortgage payments.
The claim was said to be deceptive, and the promised full refunds for dissatisfied customers were not paid.
Atalla claimed he could not pay the $515K judgment against him, and paid only $650 before having the rest of its suspended.
It turns that Atalla’s deceptive practices were still in operation: he is said to have hidden assets from the FTC. He has now been ordered to pay the $515K less the $650 already paid, but including interest.
“The court’s order in this case makes a very clear point,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “When you sign a settlement order with the Federal Trade Commission, you’d better be up-front about your assets. If you’re not, we won’t hesitate to collect suspended monetary judgments.”