CFPB and Justice Department Team Up on Enforcement

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On May 7, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB" or “Bureau”) and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced a joint law enforcement effort in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York involving a debt-settlement business and its principals. This is the first time that the Justice Department has brought criminal charges stemming from a CFPB referral.

The CFPB alleges that the defendants engaged in unfair and deceptive practices and violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and the U.S. Attorney unsealed an indictment that alleges that the same defendants engaged in criminal fraud. In a press conference announcing this effort, Director Richard Cordray of the CFPB explained that “during our investigation, we found evidence of criminal conduct and, accordingly, we referred this information to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York while we continued to pursue the civil law violations.”

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