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.
Victim Impact Statement Form
The period to submit victim impact statements has closed. Please note that we are currently working on the review of all submitted claims with a submission or postmark date on or before April 30, 2020.
Next Court Date
A sentencing hearing was held on Friday, July 24, 2020. Defendant Brandon Frere was sentenced to 42 months of imprisonment. A copy of the judgment has been posted below.
December 18, 2020 at 11:00 AM
Judge Susan Illston
Courtroom 1, 17th Floor
Philip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Due to ongoing public health orders the hearing may be held via Zoom:
Webinar ID: 161 210 8939
General Order 58: Persons granted access to court proceedings held by telephone or videoconference are reminded that photographing, recording, and rebroadcasting of court proceedings, including screenshots or other visual copying of a hearing, is absolutely prohibited.
- 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).