A federal court judge in Florida has banned the defendants behind an alleged credit card interest rate reduction scam from selling debt-relief service and telemarketing any services.

The order to shut down Innovative Wealth Builders Inc. and its three Florida-based principals - Carly Janene Pelland (also known as Carly Zurita), Sheryl Leigh Lopez and Tamara Dawn Johnson - settles Federal Trade Commission allegations that they falsely promised to substantially reduce consumers’ credit card interest rates and save them thousands of dollars on their card debts.

The FTC's complaint against Innovative Wealth Builders and the three principals charge them with violating the FTC Act by misrepresenting credit card interest rate reduction services, misrepresenting refund policies and billing consumers without authorization. The complaint also alleges the defendants violated the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule by misrepresenting the debt relief services they were selling, charging a fee before providing these services and billing consumers without their express informed consent.

The FTC will move ahead with litigation against Independent Resources Network Corp., the payment processor that allegedly assisted in the scam. In June, the FTC amended its original complaint to name IRN as a defendant in the case.

The settlement with Innovative Wealth Builders and the principals prohibits the settling defendants from making any material misrepresentations in advertising, marketing, promotion, sale offers or sale of any financial related product or service. The order includes a $9.9 million judgment against IWB and its three principals. 

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.