TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Three south Floridians who allegedly sold phony debt relief services, including fake loans, have accepted a ban under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Florida.
Jeremy Lee Marcus, Craig Davis Smith and Yisbet Segrea, who had their headquarters in Pompano Beach, also agreed to turn over assets worth about $35 million.
Their scheme is estimated to have cost about 15,000 people nationwide about $70 million.
They agreed to be banned from selling debt relief, credit repair and financial products and services and to be banned from telemarketing. The settlement orders, if entered by the court, will resolve the FTC’s charges against them.
The three allegedly convinced people to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by falsely promising to resolve their debts and improve their credit.
Over time, victims found their debts unpaid, their accounts in default and their credit scores lower. Some victims were sued by their creditors, and some were forced into bankruptcy.
The proposed orders impose a $85,326,648.45 judgment against each of the settling defendants, jointly and severally.
The order against Marcus, the scheme’s alleged ringleader, is not suspended and requires him to surrender all of his material assets.
Marcus’ assets include 20 residential properties, a 2015 Range Rover, a 2015 BMW i8, a 5.03 carat diamond ring, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Louis Vuitton watches, rare coins, a bottle of 1969 Duncan Taylor single malt scotch whisky, and other personal property and financial interests. These assets are estimated to be worth approximately $34 million.
The judgment against Smith and Segrea will be suspended in part once they have surrendered all of their material assets. Their assets, estimated to be worth about $1 million, include a 2014 Tesla Model S P85, Rolex and Movado watches, and bank accounts.
With regard to Smith and Segrea, the full judgment will become due immediately if they are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.
The FTC’s complaint against Marcus, Smith and Segrea was filed in May 2017.