A federal court found BlueHippo Funding LLC, BlueHippo Capital LLC and Joseph Rensin in contempt for operating an allegedly deceptive computer financing scheme in violation of a court order the defendants agreed to in 2008. The court also entered judgment against Rensin, BlueHippo’s CEO, for $13.4 million, the harm consumers suffered as a result of the scheme.
The FTC charged the BlueHippo defendants with contempt in 2009, alleging that, between April and December of 2008, they flouted the 2008 order by contracting with thousands of consumers to finance new computers. In most cases they allegedly failed to provide the computers and did not disclose key aspects of their refund policy.
While the court found that the defendants violated the 2008 order, it suspended a $13.4 million judgement and BlueHippo only paid $609,000 in consumer redress. The FTC appealed and the court has now ordered Rensin to pay the full 2008 settlement amount. "This scheme preyed on cash-strapped consumers looking for computers to improve their lives and the lives of their children,” said Jessica Rich, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. "This case shows that the FTC not only takes decisive action against wrongdoers, but also does whatever it takes to see the case through to a fair conclusion."