Supreme Court Ruling Kills FTC’s “Strongest Tool” For Fighting Scam Artists

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The Supreme Court’s ruling in a case of misleading payday lending practices has been heavily criticized by the Federal Trade Commission, which believes the court has ruled in favour of fraudsters and dishonest corporations.

According to FTC Acting Chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, the Supreme Court’s ruling killed the Federal Trade Commission’s “most powerful tool” for fighting fraudsters and securing refunds for unlawful consumers. Federal Trade Commission, the Court ruled that Section 13b of the Federal Trade Commission Act “does not authorize the Commission to seek or instruct a court to grant adequate financial relief such as restitution or disgorgement” to consumers.

While the unanimous ruling stated that “Section 13(b) does not explicitly authorize the Commission to obtain court-ordered monetary relief, and such relief is foreclosed by the structure and history of the Act”, the Supreme Court announced that the Commission has the authority to seek financial penalties and relief for consumers under Sections 5 and 19 of the FTC Act. Commenting on the ruling,

Acting Chair of the FTC Rebecca Kelly Slaughter noted, “The Supreme Court ruled in favor of scam artists and dishonest corporations, leaving average Americans to pay for illegal behavior. With this ruling, the Court has deprived the FTC of the strongest tool we had to help consumers when they need it most. We urge Congress to act swiftly to restore and strengthen the powers of the agency so we can make wronged consumers whole.”

For more information, read the original story in Arstechnica

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