United States v. Brandon Demond Frere
Brandon Demond Frere waived indictment and was charged by Information on October 1, 2019 for his operation of a fraudulent student loan debt relief scheme. Frere formulated, directed, controlled and participated in the operations of the following companies: American Financial Benefits Center (“AFBC”), Ameritech Financial (“Ameritech”), and Financial Education Benefits Center (”FEBC”) which were registered as California Corporations on February 11, 2011, October 28, 2015 and October 30, 2015 respectively. The charges include one count of Wire Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, and one count of International Money Laundering and Aiding and Abetting.
Defendant used the Companies to sell individuals document preparation services for federal student loan forgiveness, loan consolidation, and reduced-payment programs. His Companies also enrolled individuals in a financial education “benefits” program through false, fraudulent and misleading representations. Frere targeted recipients of federal student loans who were often struggling to make payments and caused his employees to use misleading sales scripts and other deceptive practices that fraudulently induced thousands of victims to sign up for document preparation services and to enroll in the financial education benefits program.
Clients of Ameritech and AFBC paid approximately $800 for document preparation services while clients of the financial benefits program, through AFBC and FEBC, were charged an initial enrollment fee of between approximately $100 and $1,200 followed by ongoing monthly membership fees of between approximately $49 and $99 per month.
On February 16, 2022 the Court granted the parties' stipulation regarding restitution and an amended judgment was filed on March 14, 2022 incorporating the restitution order. A copy of the Order is available below. Restitution awards are final and are listed by client last name, first initial and the last 3 digits of a zip code. Restitution awards were calculated using victim impact statements and/or payment processor records and subtracted any redress payments received by victims from the civil litigation by the Federal Trade Commission as well as any application/membership fees.
Please note that a restitution order cannot guarantee full or immediate payment by the defendant. Distributions are made by the Court based on the amount of funds collected from the defendant or paid directly by the defendant to the Court. We will provide updates regarding any projected distribution dates if they become available. We do not currently have an update regarding the timing for any distributions. You may contact the U.S. District Court’s finance unit at email@example.com for inquiries regarding the status of restitution in the future.
If your address or legal name has changed please download and complete the corresponding Court forms below to file a request with the Court. Please follow the instructions on the form which includes a list of supporting documentation required and the mailing address to return the forms. Please do not return the form to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Due to the large number of victims in this case we are unable to respond to individual inquiries. Please visit this website for updates/information.
- USDC Name Change Form
- USDC Change of Address Form
- Frere Restitution Order
- U.S. v Frere Filed Information
- Federal Trade Commission Case Information
- Frere Judgement
- Victim Impact Statement Brochure
- Northern District of California Victim Witness Brochure
- Right to be Heard Brochure
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For information or assistance with this particular case please contact the Mega Victim Case Assistance Program Unit at (844) 527-5299 or e-mail USAEO.MCAP@usdoj.gov.
For information regarding the status of your student loan please contact your loan servicer or the Department of Education at https://www.ed.gov/ or 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327).