On November 22, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision finding that the plaintiff lacked Article III standing in a putative class action brought under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
On November 21, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed its criminal indictment against Binance.com (Binance), the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao (CZ). The indictment against Binance contains three charges: (1) conspiracy to violate the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) by failing to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program; (2) conducting an unlicensed money services business; and (3) willful violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). On the same day, at a press conference also attended by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Russ Behnam, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Binance pled guilty to all charges, and the DOJ is requiring Binance to pay approximately $4.3 billion in criminal penalties and forfeiture. CZ also pled guilty to violating the BSA by failing to maintain an effective AML program. As a result, he must resign as Binance’s CEO and is awaiting criminal sentencing.
According to a recent report by WebRecon, court filings under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) were down for the month of October, but filings under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) were up. Complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) were also up for the month.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that identifies international convertible virtual currency mixing as a class of transactions of primary money laundering concern and seeks to increase transparency around virtual currency mixing to combat its use by illicit actors.
In Brown v. MRS BPO, LLC, the Northern District of Illinois, acting on its own motion, granted summary judgment in favor of the defense on claims asserting violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
On October 18, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report to Congress in which it outlined its ongoing efforts to protect older Americans from fraud related losses.
On October 9, a Florida state senator introduced SB 146, which would add a new section to the Florida Consumer Finance Act (CFA), attempting to curb evasion of the CFA. SB 146 would treat all payments incident to the loan as interest, even if voluntary, and would adopt both predominant economic interest and totality of the circumstance tests for true lender purposes. SB 146 follows other states’ attempts to address true lender issues, including legislation passed in Minnesota, discussed here, and Connecticut, discussed here.
On November 9, a magistrate judge in the Northern District of Georgia issued a Report & Recommendation to grant a motion to dismiss because the plaintiff’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claims were time-barred and the cause of action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) failed to state a claim.