FTC Action Leads to Industry Ban for Ringleader of Student Loan Debt Relief Scam

The ringleader of a student loan debt relief scam will be permanently banned from the debt relief industry and is required to turn over assets as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

The settlement with Marco Manzi resolves FTC charges involving the student loan debt relief scheme. The FTC charged that Manzi, Ivan Esquivel, and Robert Kissinger, operators of Express Enrollment LLC (also doing business as SLFD Processing) and Intercontinental Solutions LLC (also doing business as Apex Doc Processing LLC), pretended to be affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education and used “Biden Loan Forgiveness” or similar names to trick students into signing up for their student debt relief scheme. The FTC said that Apex operators pocketed approximately $8.8 million in junk fees by luring students with false promises of loan forgiveness.

The FTC announced a settlement in February 2024 with the other defendants in the case, Esquivel, Kissinger and the corporate defendants, which imposed similar requirements as the proposed order against Manzi.

The FTC has resources on how to avoid student loan debt relief scams at ftc.gov/StudentLoans. Consumers can get assistance with their student loans for free at StudentAid.gov.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the stipulated final order was 3-0. The FTC filed the final order in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The Court approved the final order on March 15, 2024.

The staff attorneys for this matter are Carlton Mosley and Gregory Ashe of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

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