WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled with John Ayers, LeapLab and Leads Company over allegations of knowingly providing scammers with hundreds of thousands of consumers’ sensitive personal information.
The court orders will prevent the defendants from selling or transferring consumers’ sensitive personal information to third parties and force them to destroy any consumer data in their possession within 30 days. Additionally, the defendants are barred from misleading customers about loan offer terms.
The orders also include a $5.7 million monetary judgment but this will be suspended due to the defendants’ sworn inability to pay.
“LeapLab purchased sensitive information, including Social Security and bank account numbers, from pay-day-loan websites, and then sold that information to entities it knew had no legitimate need for it,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “That allowed scammers to steal millions of dollars from people’s accounts.”
The FTC had alleged these defendants collected hundreds of thousands of loan applications from payday loan sites. They then sold 95 percent of these applications for roughly 50 cents each to non-lenders that had no legitimate need for the information.