The Attorney General of New York has filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order shutting down a collection operation that allegedly used a call spoofing service to impersonate government officials and made fraudulent threats to the individuals and their friends and family members.
The suit named a number of defendants, including Kenneth Thomas, Wesley Newman, and their business entity, Midway Resolution Services LLC a/k/a Midway Resolution Group a/k/a Greenland Recovery Group, as well as Johnfredrick Daniels, Jasmine Ashley Daniels, and their business entity, Jax Management Company LLC. Newman, in a published report, said he has not been in the debt collection business since 2014.
This is not the first time that Thomas has run afoul of the New York AG’s office. Back in 2014, he entered into an assurance of discontinuance with the AG’s office, after being accused of not sending validation notices and not tracking the aliases used by the operation’s collectors. Thomas agreed to a $30,000 fine and to revise its policies to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Thomas is the nephew of Douglas MacKinnon, a collection “kingpin” who was part of a group that was barred from the industry last year and ordered to pay $60 million in fines after being accused setting up more than 250 collection operations across the country and using threatening tactics to try and collect on debts, spoofing numbers of courthouses and government agencies, making false threats of arrest, while also adding $200 to the balance owed.
This time, the Attorney General is seeking a permanent ban from the collection industry for the defendants, who allegedly impersonated sheriff’s and court officials in coercing individuals to repay their debts.
“Those who use illegal and unconscionable tactics to cheat consumers out of their hard-earned money will face the full weight of my office,” said Attorney General Letitia James in a statement. “Not only did the respondents allegedly impersonate attorneys and officers of the court, but they intimidated and threatened consumers with extreme legal repercussions — like arrest or license suspension — for not complying with their predatory practices.”