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  1. http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/09/vantage.shtm The FTC alleged that defendants Sean C. Mulrooney and Odafe Stephen Ogaga and five companies they controlled used websites with the names Vantage Funding, Ideal Advance, Loan Assistance Company, Palm Loan Advances, Loan Tree Advances, Pacific Advances, and Your Loan Funding to collect consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, bank routing numbers, and bank account numbers, which allowed them to access consumers’ checking accounts. The defendants obtained other consumers’ financial information by paying more than $500,000 to third parties, and debited those consumers’ accounts without authorization as well, according to documents filed with the court. In all, the defendants victimized tens of thousands of consumers, taking more than $5 million from their bank accounts. Many of the victims were in difficult financial straits to begin with, and as an added insult, often began receiving harassing telemarketing and debt collection calls shortly after the defendants made their unauthorized withdrawals, according to the FTC. Consumers who complained to Defendants’ Philippines-based customer service agents were frequently offered refunds and $100 gasoline vouchers that never materialized, according to the FTC. Mulrooney and Ogaga apparently used proceeds from their allegedly illegal scheme to finance a lavish lifestyle. Mulrooney is the registered owner of a 2012 Maserati GranTurismo, while Ogaga owns a 2011 Rolls Royce Ghost and a 2006 Ferrari 430, according to documents filed with the court.
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