Another “Debt Relief” Scam

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and attorneys general from seven states have initiated legal action against Strategic Financial Solutions (SFS) and its related entities, accusing them of defrauding over $100 million from families in financial distress. Allegedly led by Ryan Sasson and Jason Blust, this network, under the guise of offering debt relief, has instead levied substantial, unlawful fees on vulnerable consumers. Filed on January 10, 2024, the lawsuit seeks to halt the fraudulent activities, secure compensation for affected consumers, and impose civil penalties.
CFPB Director Rohit Chopra and state officials, including those from Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, have condemned the operations for exploiting financially struggling individuals through a complex network of shell companies and supposed law firms.
Strategic Financial Solutions, represented by CEO Ryan Sasson, is accused of operating a deceitful scheme that ensnares consumers with the false promise of loans to alleviate their debts, only to funnel them into ineffective debt-relief services. Despite collecting fees upfront via an escrow account, SFS allegedly fails to deliver the promised debt negotiations, enriching Sasson, Blust, and their companies at the expense of consumers.
This lawsuit highlights violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and state laws, with SFS’s practices causing significant harm by charging illegal advance fees and misleadingly suggesting that legal professionals would negotiate debt relief on behalf of consumers.
The enforcement action underlines the CFPB’s and participating states’ commitment to protecting consumers from financial exploitation. The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, has already seen a temporary restraining order issued against SFS.
For further details, read the complaint filed on January 10, 2024.
Consumers affected by financial scams or seeking debt relief information can reach out to the CFPB or their state’s attorney general. The CFPB encourages whistleblowers to report potential violations, emphasizing the agency’s dedication to combating financial fraud and supporting consumer rights.
* Colorado residents can report scams via StopFraudColorado.gov.
* Illinoisans suspecting fraud can file complaints with the Attorney General’s office.
* North Carolinians can report to Attorney General Josh Stein’s Office at www.ncdoj.gov/complaint.
This collaborative legal effort underscores the seriousness with which financial fraud, especially against financially vulnerable consumers, is addressed by regulatory and state authorities.