On Sept. 21, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the arrest of the leader of a nationwide, multiyear, multimillion-dollar student loan debt relief scam.

Rob Bonta

The defendant owned a network of third-party debt relief businesses based in Orange County. They employed managers and sales agents to operate multiple call centers that contacted individuals across the country promising to reduce or eliminate their federal student loan debt. Instead, the owner, as well as four call center managers and two sales agents allegedly stole over $6,130,000 in less than three years from over 19,000 victims, including 3,000 in California.

Two additional defendants have been arrested for their alleged connection to this scheme.

All of the defendants face multiple counts, including grand theft by false pretenses, computer access and fraud, and unauthorized use of personal identifying information. The lead defendant has been charged with all 87 counts of the indictment, as well as special allegations for money laundering in excess of $2.5 million and aggravated white-collar crime.

“Millions of Californians — myself included — know what it’s like to finish your education, only to start the often decades-long journey of paying off your student loans,” said Bonta. “Life happens, and whether it be because a person is out of work, faces an unexpected medical bill, or other life change, many struggle to make those monthly payments. When greedy companies prey on…

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