Three executives and three company owners behind CardReady LLC, a payment processing sales organization based in Pinellas County, face accusations of credit card laundering in a $20 million scam.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Federal Trade Commission, in a new lawsuit, allege CardReady processed nearly $20 million in illegal upfront fees from consumers through a nationwide telemarketing scheme, according to a statement. CardReady created more than 24 fake businesses to launder the illegal fees in a promise “to reduce their credit card interest rates,” the statement says.
Along with the financial loss for consumers, CardReady's fraudulent activities “helped the scammers evade detection from law enforcement and payment networks such as Visa and Mastercard,” the statement says.
The officials named in the lawsuit, according to the statement, are CardReady executives Brandon Becker, James Berland and Andrew Padnick. Three additional owners of original defendant One Easy Solution LLC, Jason Gagnon, Kenneth Sallies and Matthew Thomas, were also added to the suit.
Bondi's office and the FTC obtained a federal court order last June that shut down the underlying credit card interest rate scam, the release states. The newly amended complaint filed in federal court charges CardReady with credit card laundering under federal law and illegal factoring of credit card transactions under Florida law.