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Federal Trade Commission v. Federal Loan Modification

December 6, 2010

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FEDERAL LOAN MODIFICATION LAW CENTER, LLP, ET AL. DEFENDANTS, AND MGO CAPITAL
RELIEF DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge:Hon. Cormac J. Carney

PROPOSED FINAL JUDGMENT AND ORDER FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION AS TO DEFENDANT BOAZ MINITZER

Plaintiff Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") commenced this civil action on April 3, 2009, pursuant to Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b), to obtain preliminary and permanent injunctive and other equitable relief for Defendants' violations of Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45, in connection with the marketing and sale of mortgage loan modification and foreclosure relief services. The FTC subsequently filed a First Amended Complaint on June 24, 2009, naming Defendants Federal Loan Modifications, SBSC Corporation, and Venture Legal Support, PLC and Relief Defendants Legal Turn, LLC and MGO Capital, and a Second Amended Complaint on October 1, 2010, naming LegalTurn, LLC as a Defendant, and removing that company as a Relief Defendant. The Court entered a Preliminary Injunction Order ("PI Order") in this case enjoining Defendants from, among other things, collecting advance fees from consumers, from making certain representations about their services, and from disposing of assets outside the ordinary course of business.

The FTC has moved for summary judgment on all counts of the Second Amended Complaint against Defendant Boaz Minitzer pursuant to Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The FTC's Motion for Summary Judgment against Defendant Boaz Minitzer is GRANTED, and IT IS FURTHER ORDERED as follows:

FINDINGS

After consideration of the FTC's Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court finds:

1. This is an action by the FTC brought pursuant to Sections 5 and 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 45 and 57(b). The Second Amended Complaint seeks both permanent injunctive relief and consumer redress for the Defendants' alleged deceptive acts or practices in connection with the marketing and sale of mortgage loan modification and foreclosure relief services.

2. The FTC has authority under Sections 13(b) of the FTC Act to seek the relief it has requested, and the Second Amended Complaint states a claim upon which relief can be granted against Defendant Boaz Minitzer.

3. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1337(a) and 1345, and 15 U.S.C. §§ 45(a) and 53(b) and has jurisdiction over Defendant. Venue in the Central District of California is proper.

4. The activities of Defendant Boaz Minitzer, as alleged in the Second Amended Complaint, are in or affecting commerce, as defined in Section 4 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 44.

5. The factual allegations in the FTC's Second Amended Complaint are taken as true against Defendant Minitzer. Those allegations and the evidence supporting them establish that Defendant violated Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), which prohibits unfair and deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.

6. Defendants, in connection with the advertising, marketing, promotion, offering for sale, and sale of mortgage loan modification services, violated Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a) by making false and misleading statements to induce consumers to purchase these services, including but not limited to the representations that Defendants would obtain loan modifications for consumers in all or virtually all cases and that Defendants were part of, affiliated with, or endorsed by the United States Government or one or more federal government programs.

7. Defendants have operated as a common enterprise in engaging in deceptive acts and practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act. Defendants share or have shared office space and employees, are commonly controlled, commingle or have commingled funds, and have participated in a common scheme to deceive consumers. Because Defendants have operated as a common enterprise, each of them is jointly and severally liable for the acts and practices alleged in the FTC's Second Amended Complaint.

8. At all times material to this complaint, Defendant Boaz Minitzer, acting alone or in concert with others, had authority to control, directly participated in, and had knowledge of the deceptive acts and practices of corporate Defendants, including the acts and practices alleged in the FTC's Second Amended Complaint, and thus is jointly and severally liable for these acts and practices.

9. This action and the relief awarded herein, are in addition to, and not in lieu of, other remedies as may be provided by law, including both civil and criminal remedies.

10. Entry of this Order is in the public interest. 11. Entry of this Order resolves the FTC's action against Defendants, and there is no just reason for delay in certifying this Order as final. Therefore, the FTC is ...


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