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

Jul 20, 2021
Press Release

Today, Rep. DeFazio 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 FTC exercised this consumer protection authority for more than forty years before the Supreme Court stripped this authority in April.

“This bill will allow the FTC to once again be a champion for millions of scam victims,” said Rep. DeFazio.  “Right now, the FTC can’t use the strongest tool in its toolbox to fight in the courts on behalf of defrauded victims and small businesses – even as scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic are on the rise.  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, fraud, 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.