As noted in the parties’ Joint Motion for Entry of Preliminary…
As noted in the parties’ Joint Motion for Entry of Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 89) and the Court’s Order dated October 6, 2022 (Doc. 103), the parties made significant progress toward settlement of the FTC’s claims against the defendants during and subsequent to the mediation conference held with Magistrate Judge Monte Richardson. The Court has entered a Preliminary Injunction, the language of which is similar to the Temporary Restraining Order entered at the beginning of the case. Additionally, the Court has entered a stay of the case (except for the Receiver’s efforts)(Doc. 106), during which time the FTC lawyers have sought approval of the negotiated settlement from the Federal Trade Commission. Assuming that the settlement is approved by the FTC and subsequently by the Court, the Receiver will continue her efforts to marshal and liquidate assets for the benefit of aggrieved consumers and other creditors. Thereafter, the FTC will handle the distribution process of the funds collected for consumers. Any distribution will not occur until 2023 at the earliest.
Welcome to the website of Receiver, Maria M. Yip. Ms. Yip has been appointed Receiver in a civil enforcement action, styled Federal Trade Commission v. Michael Rando et al., Case No. 3:22-cv-487-TJC-MCR in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division.
We designed this website to provide convenient access to information about the Receivership, including important updates and select District Court documents. As our work progresses, we will add information to this website, including information regarding a plan of distribution to creditors of any assets that are recovered and all forms required by the District Court for participation as a claimant in the distribution process. If you require further information not contained in this website, you may contact us.
Brief Summary of the Case
On May 2, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a civil enforcement action in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida against the following defendants: Michael Rando, a/k/a Mike Singles, individually and as a principal of Prosperity Training Technology LLC, Elite Customer Services, LLC, Digital Business Scaling LLC, First Coast Matchmakers Inc., First Coast Matchmakers LLC, and Financial Consulting Management Group LLC; Valerie Rando, a/k/a Valerie Payton, Val Rando, Val Singles, individually and as a principal of Prosperity Training Technology LLC, Elite Customer Services, LLC, Digital Business Scaling LLC, First Coast Matchmakers Inc., First Coast Matchmakers LLC, and Financial Consulting Management Group LLC; Prosperity Training Technology LLC, Elite Customer Services, LLC ; Digital Business Scaling LLC, First Coast Matchmakers Inc d/b/a Wholesale Tradelines; First Coast Matchmakers, LLC d/b/a Wholesale Tradelines; Financial Consulting Management Group LLC and Resource Management Investments, LLC (collectively, defendants).
The FTC alleges that the defendants are operating an unlawful credit repair business that has deceived consumers across the country since at least 2019. Through YouTube videos, websites, email marketing, and telemarketing, defendants claim they can quickly and legally improve consumers’ credit scores to over 780, remove most or all negative items on a consumer’s credit report, and cause a third party’s credit history to appear on the consumer’s credit report. Defendants allegedly back up these representations with a money-back guarantee. Defendants’ claims, however, are allegedly false or unsubstantiated.
Defendants have also allegedly filed, or caused to be filed, fake identity theft reports on the FTC’s identitytheft.gov website as part of their credit repair scheme. In addition, the FTC alleges that the defendants routinely take prohibited advanced fees of hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for their credit repair services and do not make required disclosures regarding their credit repair services. Defendants have also allegedly sold deceptive business or investment opportunities. Through YouTube videos, websites, and telemarketing, Defendants allegedly claim consumers can profitably and legally operate a business selling credit repair services and education, including advising consumers they can or should manipulate the appearance of true information on credit reports and add false positive information on credit reports. These claims are allegedly false or unsubstantiated.
In addition, Defendants allegedly do not make required disclosures regarding their business opportunity. Defendants have also allegedly sold their products and services by instructing consumers to spend or otherwise “invest” their various tax credit benefits issued under separate COVID-19 relief laws on Defendants’ credit repair scheme. Defendants claim to have generated more than $15,000,000 in revenue from their alleged unlawful credit repair and education, and business or investment opportunity practices.
Where, as in this case, the FTC seeks the return of funds to consumers, the FTC frequently appoints a receiver to assist in marshalling assets on behalf of creditors, including injured consumers. FTC-initiated receiverships frequently arise in connection with alleged frauds on consumers.
In the Cour’t May 3, 2022 order appointing Ms. Yip as Receiver, the Court directed the Receiver to:
- assume full control of Receivership Entities;
- take exclusive custody, control, and possession of all assets and documents of, or in the possession, custody, or under the control of, any Receivership Entity, wherever situated;
- conserve, hold, manage, and prevent the loss of all assets of the Receivership Entities, and perform all acts necessary or advisable to preserve the value of those assets;
- assume control over the income and profits therefrom and all sums of money now or hereafter due or owing to the Receivership Entities;
- take all steps necessary to secure and take exclusive custody of each location from which the Receivership Entities operate their businesses;
- prevent the inequitable distribution of assets and determine, adjust, and protect the interests of consumers who have transacted business with the Receivership Entities;
- make an accounting, as soon as practicable, of the assets and financial condition of the receivership;
- suspend business operations of the Receivership Entities if in the judgment of the Receiver such operations cannot be continued legally and profitably; and
- promptly notify the entity as well as the parties, if the Receiver identifies a nonparty entity as a Receivership Entity.
The Receiver intends to fulfill her duties and responsibilities in an expedient and efficient manner. The District Court overseeing this Receivership has broad powers and wide discretion to determine the appropriate relief.