Unlicensed Debt Collector Arrested in North Carolina

A year after he was sued by the Attorney General of North Carolina for collecting on debts without the proper license, Gordon Scott Engle has been arrested and charged with 81 counts of failing to secure a permit from the state’s Department of Insurance, which regulates and licenses debt collectors in the Tarheel State.

Engle, who operated Turtle Creek Assets, was charged in 17 different counties across North Carolina. He allegedly purchased portfolios of unpaid debts from rent-to-own retail locations, took out false criminal summonses, and charged 81 different individuals with failure to return rental equipment.

Special Agents from within the North Carolina Attorney General’s office notified district attorneys across the state about the “fabricated” summonses, resulting in the charges against the individuals being dismissed, according to the North Carolina Department of Insurance. The press release announcing the arrest did not indicate what type of penalty Engle was facing.

“Most of the victims in this case were North Carolina citizens who were struggling financially,” said Mike Causey, the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner, in a statement. “I want to thank our Special Agents, along with other agencies, for their tireless efforts in helping these citizens seek justice.”

Last July, Engle was sued by the AG of North Carolina after he was accused of using misleading language to get judges to sign criminal summonses to obtain hundreds of of criminal complaints, in violation of a number of state laws.

Engle had previously filed a lawsuit against a rent-to-own chain for allegedly selling hundreds of millions of dollars in accounts that it knew had issues that made the debts uncollectible.

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