BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York Attorney General Letitia James and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a predatory debt collection operation based in Getzville has been shut down.
According to the AG, the operation "falsely threatened consumers with harsh consequences if they did not pay, inflated the true amount of debts owed, and contacted consumers’ friends, family members, and employers to harass consumers."
The AG said the operation attempted to collect debts from up to about 293,000 consumers, generating gross revenues of approximately $93 million between 2015 and 2020.
The operation, its owners, and managers are required to pay $4 million and are permanently banned from the debt collection industry.
The companies involved included:
JPL Recovery Solutions, LLC;
Regency One Capital LLC;
ROC Asset Solutions LLC, which does business as API Recovery Solutions;
Check Security Associates LLC, which does business as Warner Location Services and Orchard Payment Processing Systems;
Keystone Recovery Group
The companies were owned by Christopher Di Re, Scott Croce, and Susan Croce, and were managed by Brian Koziel and Marc Gracie.
“This debt collection operation used illegal and deceptive tactics to prey on consumers, and now they are paying the price for the harm they caused. Predatory debt collectors make their profit by targeting hardworking consumers and then illegally saddle them deeper into debt. These debt collectors used harassing calls and false threats to coerce consumer to pay, actions that are both illegal and downright shameful. Today’s action should send a strong message to debt collectors nationwide that we will not hesitate to use the full force of the law to hold them accountable if they hurt consumers.”
“It is illegal for debt collectors to orchestrate smear campaigns using social media to extort consumers into paying up. Our action with the New York Attorney General bans the ringleaders of this operation from the industry to halt further misconduct.”