Faceless Criminals Essay

915 words - 4 pages

In the last year there has been an alarming trended of fraudulent business practices by some of the biggest companies in the business world. In Sept 2013, JP Morgan was hit with a multi-Billion dollar fine for home loan scandals involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In the most recent mega corporation settlement American Express (AMEX) settled its latest of two cases over the last 16 months for deceptive billing practice. Why are companies knowingly deceiving the American public for financial gain? Could this practice be lucrative enough that companies will assume the risk of fines and damaging their corporate reparations? We will examine the details of the AMEX case, and determine what ...view middle of the document...

In a second claim by the CFPB, they charged AMEX of falsely stating benefits to customers and charging them additional fees and penalties causing customers to exceed their credit limit. AMEX stated that one of the protections under the account protector benefit protected customers if they had lost their jobs or had a disability their minimum payments would be wipe out. The CFPB took exception to this claim because AMEX failed to tell their customers that this only protected them on outstanding balances up to $500 dollars. Yet AMEX was knowingly charging 85-90 percent of their customer additional fees and penalties that customers were unaware for benefits they were not receiving from 2000-2009.
AMEX has been under investigation, charged and fined twice over the last two years by two different government consumer watch dog organization. In 2012 the Consumer Protection agency ordered AMEX to return $87 million to consumers for fraudulent billing practice. According to a New York times article (Dec 25, 2013) the government is cracking down on credit card companies in an effort to tighten restrictions of hidden feed and penalties. In an article by Fox Business (Dec 24, 2013), “banking regulators said American Express violated federal laws by misleading consumers about the benefits of so-called add-on products, or benefits provided to customers in addition to the use of the credit card”. AMEX is required to pay fines totaling $16.2 million to the CFPB, and $59.5 million in restitution to more than 300,000 customers for illegal credit card practices. Additionally, AMEX will be required to change provide a detailed plan to the CFPB outlining new billing practices.
After researching the facts of the case it is clear that this is a financially motivated...

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