Jailed Credit-Repair Site Operator Settles FTC Charge

A man convicted and sentenced to jail for running a credit-repair scam on his Web site settled a civil complaint yesterday with the Federal Trade Commission, which had accused him of deceiving consumers.

Clifton W. Cross, who did business as Build-It-Fast, claimed he could help consumers repair their credit histories instantly by obtaining new identification numbers using a practice known as file segregation, according to the complaint.

The Web site sold instructions on how to substitute federally issued identification numbers for Social Security numbers to create new credit profiles.

Cross had claimed that the practice was legal. However, file segregation is a felony crime, the FTC said.

Under the FTC settlement, Cross is prohibited from selling his customer lists or making further deceptive statements about file segregation, the FTC said. The settlement was made in the U.S. District Court of Western Texas in Austin, TX.

Cross previously faced criminal charges by the U.S. attorney for Western Texas in San Antonio stemming from his business practices. On May 7, a federal judge sentenced Cross to 40 months in prison and ordered him to pay $171,000 in restitution.

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