MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A Broward woman who ran several companies which claimed they would help their customers reduce their student loan debt has settled with the state.
Chastity Valdes, who reportedly defrauded her customers out of $2.4 million, will pay $4,500 to the Federal Trade Commission in an agreement with that agency and the Florida attorney general's office.
The settlement agreement amount is the stated value of the assets held by the 35-year-old Valdes and her companies, Consumer Assistance LLC, Consumer Assistance Project and Palermo Global.
Officials said Valdes promised to reduce her customers' student loan debt but did little work as she charged them $250 upfront and up to $303 per month.
They say she also faked high ratings for her companies on Facebook and other social media sites.
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