US Senate Planned Bill Would Help FTC Combat Deception and Fraud | Investment News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, chair of the Commerce Committee, will introduce legislation this week to restore the authority the Federal Trade Commission lost when the Supreme Court ruled last year that it had gone beyond the fight against deceit and fraud.

If it becomes law, the bill would make it easier for the FTC, which also enforces antitrust law, to pursue deceptive companies and scammers to recover money they took from consumers, the bureau said Monday. of Cantwell in a statement.

The FTC had been suing companies and scammers for decades to recoup ill-gotten gains, but was stopped in April 2021 by the Supreme Court, which found the agency had gone further than it legally could in its practice. of seeking court orders to compel fraudsters to return money. .

Given the court’s decision, the FTC needs Congress to give it express authority to demand restitution of ill-gotten gains. The House of Representatives passed a similar law last year.

Business groups have complained that the FTC has aggressively extracted billions of dollars in monetary rewards from businesses in recent years.

“If the FTC remains disarmed of this critical authority, millions of consumers and small businesses who have been ripped off, defrauded or excluded from competitive marketplaces will never be cured,” Cantwell said in a statement. The senator also released a committee report to support the need for the bill.

Legislation Cantwell will introduce will allow for redress for consumers harmed by violations of consumer protection law, his office said in a statement. It would also impose a 10-year statute of limitations on lawsuits, the statement said.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Howard Goller)

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Norman D. Briggs