Consumer Fraud

Consumer fraud litigation has become an increasingly active area of law in recent years. Companies doing business in multiple locations are subject to a myriad of laws and regulations, and they need to maintain the knowledge necessary to operate legally in all jurisdictions. Venable helps clients to understand consumer fraud laws so that they can prevent consumer complaints, enforcement actions, and criminal prosecution. Our attorneys have extensive experience defending clients against attorney general investigations and lawsuits, private suits, and putative and certified class actions.

Venable has multiple, long-established practices focused on the intersection of consumer protection and government regulation in finance and commerce. Our decades of experience encompass banking and financial services regulation, advertising and marketing law, privacy and data security, legislative and government affairs, and defending clients faced with investigations and enforcement actions.

The Consumer Fraud team consists of senior attorneys who have held positions at government agencies, including state attorney general offices (including consumer protection division); the Federal Trade Commission; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; the Department of Justice; and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The team includes attorneys in each of our offices nationwide. We work closely with attorneys in other practice areas to ensure that our clients benefit from the breadth and depth of the firm’s substantive experience and knowledge.

Practice Focus

  • Accounting fraud
  • Anti-money laundering
  • Antitrust – criminal
  • Compliance and internal controls
  • Congressional investigations
  • Consumer fraud
  • Environmental crimes
  • False Claims Act
  • Federal government agency investigations
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Government contracts and procurement fraud
  • Grand jury investigations
  • Healthcare and pharmaceutical enforcement
  • Internal corporate investigations
  • Public corruption
  • Securities enforcement and compliance
  • State attorney general investigations
  • Tax fraud
  • Trials and appeals

Client Focus

  • Audit committees
  • Financial industry professionals
  • Hedge funds and other financial institutions
  • Individuals (CEOs, CFOs, corporate officers and directors)
  • Multinational corporations
  • Public companies


  • Represented a leading non-bank in a non-public investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to determine whether there is, has been, or may be a violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule, or other federal consumer financial law
  • Counseled a small dollar lender that was recently given one-day notice of a CFPB examination. The CFPB arrived on site with 6-8 people, including an enforcement attorney; and the exam is under way. We have been counseling the small dollar lender regarding the CFPB exam authority and issues relating to confidentiality
  • Represented a coalition of tax-exempt, nonprofit credit counseling agencies in matters concerning the CFPB’s proposed “larger participant” rule and related nonbank supervision matters
  • Developed inbound and outbound scripts for compliance with the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule and state laws. In addition, we have defended many cases involving electronic marketing and have resolved a significant number of federal and state investigations
  • Represented a debt negotiation company faced with countless consumer complaints, multiple state regulatory investigations, several state cease and desist orders, and private lawsuits
  • Represented a third-party service provider to debt negotiation companies and their clients that was the subject of a litigated desist and refrain order that alleged violation of the California’s Check Sellers, Bill Payers and Proraters Law brought by the California Department of Corporations
  • Represented an individual and marketing partner to a credit-counseling agency and other related companies who was prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission for violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule by calling consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry and by failing to place consumers' names on in-house do-not-call lists when requested. The FTC also alleged the individuals and their companies misrepresented their businesses and failed to disclose material information to consumers, among other allegations
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement for a credit-counseling agency in a nationwide class action alleging that the company violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Credit Repair Organizations Act
  • Represented numerous credit counseling agencies and debt settlement companies in lawsuits alleging violations of a variety of federal and state laws (including credit repair statutes) brought against them in both single-plaintiff suits and class actions

Government Experience

More than 30 attorneys, including attorneys who formerly served as:

  • Assistant U.S. attorneys and Justice Department trial attorneys
  • Officials of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement
  • Officials of the FDIC and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency


  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers
    • Law Firm of the Year, Criminal Law: White-Collar Litigation, 2013
    • Best Law Firms, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2012 – 2020, 2022 - 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2013, 2015 (Venable attorneys selected for inclusion)