The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with the perpetrators of a scam where the defendants pretended to be lawyers in an attempt to collect debts, some of which did not exist. In many cases, the defendants used threats of arrest and imprisonment to coerce more than $700,000 of payments from individuals.
The case was originally brought against the defendants last July.
The settlement announced today involved most of the defendants — Hardco Holding Group LLC, S&H Financial Group Inc. and Daryl M. Hall. Litigation against another defendant, Dequan M. Sicard, is continuing, according to the FTC.
Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants are permanently barred from ever working in the debt collection industry, permanently barred from selling any financial product, buying or selling debt portfolios, and profiting the personal information of individuals if obtained from debt collection activities.
A judgment of more than $700,000 has been entered against the defendants, but partially suspended because the defendants lack the assets to cover the entire amount.
A copy of the settlement can be accessed here.