More than a year after pleading guilty to her role in a debt collection scam that raked in more than $1.1 million, a Niagara Falls, N.Y. woman has been sentenced to 24 months in prison.
Facing a sentence of up to 20 years for pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Debbie Seright was one of six individuals charged in the scam. All six have either been convicted or pleaded guilty to the charges laid against them and five of the six have been sentenced. The other members of the collection ring included Joseph Ciffa, Carmelo Collana, Damario Turpin, Shauniqua Rodriguez, and Erica Lounsberry.
Seright was charged with teaching collectors to use intimidation tactics, such as using fake names and false identities to threaten to have individuals arrested if they did not make a payment, or claim that criminal charges had been filed against individuals with unpaid debts.
The group was also charged with going back and collecting on debts that had already been paid in full. Those individuals were called “easy targets” in the offices run by Seright. Among the names of the collection agencies that Seright ran were: Lakeside Mediations, Lincoln Mediation, Valentine Legal Mediation, First Point Mediation, State Filing and Legal Services, and Elite Services.
During an 18-month period, the scammers collected more than $1.1 million in payments from unsuspecting individuals.