The Federal Trade Commission announced Friday it is sending checks totaling more than $316,000 to 10,689 people who lost money to a student loan debt relief scheme that triggered a federal complaint filed in Los Angeles.

In the complaint announced in March 2020, the FTC alleged that SLAC — which also used the name Aspyre — Navloan, and Student Loan Assistance Center, and their owner, Adam Owens, falsely told consumers that, for an upfront fee of $699 and a monthly fee of $39, the defendants would permanently lower or eliminate student loan debt.

In reality, the payments could change every year, and loan forgiveness was not guaranteed for any consumer, according to the FTC, which also alleged that the defendants paid consumers for positive reviews on the Better Business Bureau website and failed to disclose those payments.

As part of a settlement with the FTC, the defendants agreed to pay funds, which are being used to send payments to affected consumers.

Recipients should deposit or cash their checks within 90 days and can call the refund administrator, Analytics, at 888-440-0371, with any questions. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check.

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