A Student loan debt repayment company in San Francisco, Ameritech Financial has pleaded guilty for financial crimes involving wire fraud and money-laundering. The CEO of the company, Brandon Frere, admitted to having used his 3 companies (American Financial Benefits Center, the Financial Education Benefits Center, and Ameritech Financial to market student loan preparation services for borrowers applying to the Department of Education. His target customers were people in search of federal loan forgiveness and loan consolidation. The companies also offer a membership that enables the customers to sign up for other services like LifeLock identity, roadside assistance, and theft production.
Following an arrest of Frere last December at the San Francisco International Airport, he confessed to have lured his employees into following false sales script to hide their criminal acts, develop false statements about using alternative means to student loans and loan forgiveness, hide the actual monthly fees customers would pay for the optional financial benefits program thereby giving them the impression that the payments were already covered. He also admitted that losses linked to his scheme would be between $25,000,000 and $65,000,000 and that large funds were transferred to overseas bank accounts in 2015 in order to conceal his deeds.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a civil complaint against Frere in February 2018 in a federal court in Oakland for litigation that later became a concern. Victims ABC7 said in the news that they thought the companies were actually consolidating their debts until they later realized that their debts were only growing bigger. Frere sentencing has been scheduled for March 2020 and is likely to face 20 years in prison for each crime and could also be ordered to pay restitution to the victims.