Scott Tucker, a loan-sharkish scum bag piece of shit, by any reasonable account, was in the business of making misleading high-interest loans. In the loans, the paperwork cross referenced several other documents and such, making it nearly impossible for consumers to really know WTF they were agreeing to.
Imagine you came to this motherfucker for a $300 loan. He’d charge you $90 in interest. So then, you come back to pay the fucking $390, you think you’re done, right? Wrong. In the paperwork you signed, you’re on the hook for another loan unless you opt out, so you are lended $300 again whether you fucking want it or not, and have to pay another $390 back. Shady AF, right?
Eventually, the FTC caught wind of this, and dropped a $1.27 billion hammer on him, citing §5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA), which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” They made him get the fuck out of that business, and give back his profits from the scheme, which is a little bit of a stretch, since he probably deserves some of the profits he’d have earned if he wasn’t such a snake in the grass.
The FTC intended to take the money, and do their best to make customers as whole as possible, that took it in the ass because of Tucker.
But, Tucker’s lawyers, attempting to be creative, tried to argue the law gives the FTC power to make him stop doing this shady shit (an injunction), but that making him pay $1.27 billion isn’t an injunction, and therefore is outside the scope of the law as specified in section 13, which allows for the FTC to issue a “temporary restraining order,” a “preliminary injunction,” and a “permanent injunction.”
Section 5 however provides for “other and further equitable relief” and Section 19 allows for “the refund of money or return of property.”
But Tucker’s (and his partners AMG Capital) lawyers argue that section 13 does not allow for them to demand monetary relief, without going through an administrative process first, so SCOTUS is being asked to affirm this, despite the fact that the FTC has done this since inception, and courts have always upheld it. Basically, the FTC is not “passing Go,” but still collecting $200.
It seemed like Tucker would need a miracle to win this one, and praise Jesus, a miracle has landed. In a unanimous decision, no less. SCOTUS agreed that the FTCA does not provide the FTC in 13B with the authority to seek monetary damages. They divide relief into prospective (preventing future harm) and retrospective (remedying past harm) relief. Justice Breyer who wrote the opinion, argued that 13B is entirely prospective in nature.
The court’s opinion was that the FTC has other methods of seeking monetary relief, or it could ask congress to rewrite the bill. But as the law is written, what the FTC is doing currently, is fucking wrong, and they need to stop it. As you might guess, the statists in congress are already looking to rewrite the law, and accusing SCOTUS of siding with scam artists…all nine of them…including the left wing justices. Instead of admitting they just wrote a shitty law, which they’re incapable of doing.
Read about the case and hear oral arguments here from Oyez.com.
Additional information is here at SCOTUS Blog
Also here at National Law Review