The big consumer stories: Equifax in the hot seat, phony contractors caught, businesses fined

Posted at 6:42 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-21 14:01:25-04

Your information and the Equifax data breach

Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill preventing credit reporting agencies from profiting off of credit freezes. She also called for a more thorough investigation. The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are already looking into the breach.

Suspected unlicensed contractors caught

They were two of the state's most wanted unlicensed contractors and they've finally been arrested. We've been investigating Rafaela and Hugo Juarez for years. They're accused of fraud and theft, taking $138,000 from homeowners in the West Valley. They were unlicensed, but contracted for landscaping and remodel work that was poorly done or not done at all. 

Alleged business opportunity scam

Six Arizona businesses are accused of running a business opportunity scheme and taking $235,000 from victims. The Iowa Attorney General calls it fraud, saying victims were "promised substantial and guaranteed income." The at-home opportunities included "creating a website, processing credit cards and estate planning." The AG said targets of the scheme often paid thousands upfront. The agreement means money back for victims but the individuals and companies do not admit to violating Iowa law.

In all, the investigation identified 11 people involved in the scheme:

Gloria Sue Perez, Phoenix, Arizona
Joshua Samuel Perez, Tolleson, Arizona
Christopher A. Disimone a/k/a Christopher A. Garcia, Scottsdale, Arizona
Harvey R. Ingersoll, Camarillo, California
Adele R. Mage a/k/a Adele R. Garcia and a/k/a Adelle Garcia, Peoria, Arizona
Judy Alexander a/k/a Judy Jones, Glendale, Arizona
Brooke Alexander, Peoria, Arizona
John Patrick Dominick a/k/a John Austin, Phoenix, Arizona
Christopher Lee Hall, Peoria, Arizona
Sage F. Gonzales, Mesa, Arizona
Howard A. Hamburger, Lawndale, California

The investigation identified nine company names directly involved in the scheme:

Innovative Business Set Up LLC, Colorado (also registered as trade name in Arizona)
All Pay Financial, Arizona
Kreative Business Group LLC, Michigan
Kuztum Blogging, Arizona
Magers Blogging, Arizona
Elite Business Strategies, Arizona
Elite Consulting LLC, Wyoming
Fortune 500 Consulting Group Inc., Arizona
Great Western Tax and Accounting LLC, Wyoming