Saturday, October 16, 2010

NY AG Brings Criminal, Civil Charges Against Buffalo Bill Collector Targeting Servicemembers; Outfit Made Threats To Tell Commanding Officers: AG

From the Office of the New York Attorney General:
  • Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo [] announced the filing of felony charges against the owner of a debt collection company that targeted military personnel and harassed active members of the military and their families.

  • The investigation led to the filing of criminal charges against Stephanie Lowinger of Anderson Place in Buffalo, owner and operator of Neimen, Rona & Associates, formerly Morgan, Stone & Associates and now known as Gordon, Cappolli & Associates, all debt collection companies based in the Buffalo area.

  • In addition to the criminal charges, the Attorney General has also filed a civil lawsuit seeking to shut down Lowinger’s operation and secure restitution, penalties, and costs. The action is the latest in Attorney General Cuomo’s ongoing probe of illegal practices in the debt collection industry.

  • Attorney General Cuomo’s investigation found that Lowinger specifically targeted military personnel, referring to their alleged debts as “special accounts.” Lowinger instructed employees to find out where the military members were stationed and identify their commanding officers. Lowinger had employees threaten to call and, in some cases, actually did call the commanding officers, both of which are illegal debt collection tactics.(1)

For more, see Attorney General Cuomo Announces Felony Charges Against Owners Of Debt Collection Company That Targeted Military Personel (Cuomo also files civil suit to shut down company; Actions part of industry-wide investigation into abusive debt collection companies).

(1) According to the NY AG press release, complaints already received and evidence uncovered during the investigation show that military service members and their families were subjected to wrongful practices, including:

  • Unauthorized calls to commanding officers,
  • Threats of arrest by military police,
  • Threats of a dishonorable discharge,
  • Threats of loss of security status,
  • Threats of court martial.