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Abusive debt collectors banned and fined

NY
03/20/2018
Fine Amount: 
$78,789,000 (partially suspended)
Penalty Type: 
Issued by: 

The Federal Trade Commission and the State of New York have obtained a Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment against defendants 4 Star Resolution LLC, Profile Management, Inc., International Recovery Service LLC, Check Solutions Services Inc., Check Fraud Service LLC, Fourstar Revenue Management, LLC (collectively, “the 4 Star Corporate Defendants”), and Individual Defendant Travell Thomas (collectively with the 4 Star Corporate Defendants, the “4 Star Defendants”); a Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment against defendant Maurice Sessum; and a Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment against defendants Charles P. Blakely, III (“Individual Defendant Charles Blakely”) and Merchant Recovery Service, Inc. (“Corporate Defendant Merchant Recovery”) (collectively, the “Blakely Defendants”) banning them from the debt collection business and from buying or selling debt.

The orders against the 4 Star Defendants and against Sessum each impose a $30 million judgment to be partially suspended upon surrender of specified assets. The order against the Blakely Defendants imposes an $18,789,000 judgment to be partially suspended on the suspension of specified assets. Collectively, the assets to be surrendered under the three orders include more than $1 million in corporate and personal assets frozen by the court.

As alleged in the agencies’ complaint, the defendants used threats and abusive language, including false threats that consumers would be arrested or sued, to collect supposed debts. The court halted the operation pending resolution of the case.

In addition to the banned activities, the settlement orders prohibit the defendants from misrepresenting financial products and services and from profiting from customers’ personal information collected as part of the challenged practices.

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