Federal prosecutors who are investigating the owner of several debt collection companies that allegedly engaged in illegal collection activities are seeking the forfeiture of more than $90,000 that was seized from the owner’s home by armed agents last year, according to a published media report.
The money belonged to Mark M. Miller of Kenmore, N.Y., who operated businesses that prosecutors alleged “engaged in a wire fraud scheme related to unlawful debt collection activities involving victims across” the country, according to documents that have been filed in federal court. The investigation is looking into nearly $3 million worth of transactions between companies owned by Miller and financial institutions in and around Buffalo.
Miller denies any wrongdoing and his lawyers are fighting to have the $90,000 returned to him. His lawyers successfully contested the seizure of several vehicles that were taken from Miller when the funds were taken.
No criminal charges have been filed against Miller or his companies, American Elite Contractors, American Elite Recovery, AME Professionals, East Coast Business Solutions, and Oak Barnes and Associates.
Prosecutors allege that collectors working for Miller told individuals they would face charges and jail time if they did not immediately pay off the debts in question. Collectors also allegedly threatened to file lawsuits seeking to reclaim more than what was owed and garnish disability wages, according to the report. Prosecutors included transcripts of calls that were allegedly made between Miller and his collectors when Miller was in jail in 2019 after being sentenced for driving while intoxicated and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, according to the report.