The United States District Court for the Northern District of California has approved a deferred prosecution agreement with a debt relief service provider that knowingly sold consumers’ data. In exchange for a deferred prosecution agreement, the company will pay a $150 million penalty, compensate victims, and implement significant compliance measures. Among other things, the company will pay a fee to the American Bar Association and settle a pending lawsuit filmefy .
Two Peruvian men pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges, after being caught running an extortion scheme involving call centers in the United States. These men posed as government representatives or attorneys, and threatened consumers with negative credit reports and imprisonment. The defendants’ actions included threatening to deport them or seize their property. The victims opted to file criminal charges, but were unable to afford to pay the fines.
Nonetheless, the United States is appealing the decision. The company argues that the United States violated the 2012 FTC Order, and has committed new violations of the FTC Act. The United States also argues that Facebook misrepresented to consumers how they would use their personal information. Although the United States has won the case, the lawsuit is unlikely to bring much change to the company. Until this ruling is issued, the company may face further litigation thedocweb .