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Garamendi Defends Victims of Scam and Fraud, Votes to Claw Back Stolen Dollars for Consumers and Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) defended consumers and businesses victimized by scams and fraud by voting for H.R. 2668, the “Consumer Protection and Recovery Act.” This legislation restores the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take lawbreakers to court and recover stolen funds for victims of scam, fraud and other illegal activities. The agency had exercised this power for more than forty years before the Supreme Court stripped this authority in April.

“With our bill, millions of scam victims will once again have a champion in the FTC,” Garamendi said. “Right now, the FTC can’t use the strongest tool in its toolbox to fight in the courts on behalf of victimized consumers and small businesses – even as scams related to the pandemic are on the rise. That’s why I proudly voted to restore the power of the FTC to continue returning billions of stolen dollars to the American people.”

For four decades, the FTC fought in court to recover money stolen from consumers and businesses through scams, frauds and other illegal activities. In just the last three years alone, the FTC has returned more than $11 billion to nearly 10 million consumers across the nation – many of whom are seniors, veterans and other members of vulnerable communities.

In April 2021, the Supreme Court held that the FTC cannot provide monetary relief to victims, ruling that the Federal Trade Commission Act, as written, did not grant this authority. This legislation amends the Federal Trade Commission Act to provide the FTC the explicit authority to secure monetary relief for victims in court, as well as force bad actors to return their ill-gotten gains. 

“Today’s vote represents an important step in the fight for justice for victims of scams and fraud,” Garamendi continued. “Now, the FTC will once again have the tools it needs to take on lawbreakers and stand up for consumers and small businesses for decades to come.”

The Consumer Protection and Recovery Act now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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