The Federal Trade Commission said it halted the operations of Blue Global Media after the company earned millions of dollars by falsely promising to match them with low-rate loans.
In a settlement with the FTC announced today, Blue Global faced a judgment of $104 million, which was suspended because neither the company nor its CEO, Christopher Kay, could pay it. Instead, both Blue Global and Kay filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, listing the FTC as a creditor.
The FTC’s complaint alleged that, starting in 2009, Blue Global set up sites such as cashmojo.com, clickloans.net, and 100dayloans.com, which promised to connect consumers with more than 100 “trusted lending partners” and find the one offering them the best loan terms. Of the more than 15 million loan applications received, only 2 percent were sold to lenders, with the rest sold to non-lenders.
The applications often included sensitive personal and financial information such as Social Security numbers, birthdates, incomes, and bank account numbers. The complaint alleged that complete applications were sold, without consumer consent, “to any potential buyer without conditions and with little regard to how it would be used.” When some applicants complained, the company took no action, the complaint said.
Blue Global’s website is now dead, while the sites mentioned in the FTC’s complaint all redirect to the FTC’s own website.
In a 2015 press release touting Blue Global’s growth, Kay said, “Our platform provides the borrower with the best chance in obtaining a loan because we employ the most advanced loan matching algorithm and the largest lender network available in the industry.” According to Kay’s LinkedIn profile, he has a marketing degree from the University of Phoenix and was Blue Global’s CEO until January. The LinkedIn page describes Blue Global as
… the World’s Leading Online Loan Marketplace. Every month our Premium Online Brands connect millions of Consumers and Businesses to quality credit providers. We match more businesses and consumers with financial products than anybody else. No one else can compete with our extensive reach or advanced loan matching algorithm, we simply are: “The World’s Online Loan Marketplace.”
Kay is also the founder of Diego Milano, a designer jeans company based in Scottsdale, Arizona.