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Debt collection scheme operator banned

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that the operator of a debt collection scheme has settled claims by the Commission and the New York Attorney General that he and the companies he controlled lied to consumers about how much debt they owed and used illegal scare tactics to collect it.

Under the settlement, Robert Heidenreich, who ran the scheme from the Buffalo, N.Y. area, is permanently banned from the debt collection business and prohibited from misleading consumers about any financial products. The settlement also includes a monetary judgment of $1.7 million, which is partially suspended due to Heidenreich’s inability to pay. He will be required to surrender $30,000 to the FTC, and if he were later found to have misrepresented his financial condition, the full judgment would be due.

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