Debt Relief Scammers To Lose Luxury Items In Court Mandated Auction To Pay Victims They Scammed
A trio of debt relief scammers had all their toys auctioned off. The three Florida scammers ripped off $80 million from consumers across the country.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga entered a preliminary injunction that halted the scam. the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida State Attorney General filed suit against Jeremy Lee Marcus, Craig Smith, and Yisbet Segrea. The suit alleges the three men used more than a dozen different companies to fool consumers into thinking they would receive help to get out of debt.
The court named Miami attorney Jonathan Perlman as the receiver and commissioned him to recover whatever he could for victims.
Perlman said he and his legal team have identified $32 million in assets for recovery. Items auctioned off included 630 SW 25th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale and another home worth more than $5.25 million in Fort Lauderdale. The debt relief scammers also had a fleet of luxury cars that included a 2014 Tesla Model S P85+ and a 2015 two-door, six-speed automatic BMW i8 Hybrid Supercar. The scammers also had a 2015 eight-speed automatic Land Rover Range Rover and 2 decade-old custom luxury school buses.
Perlman told the Sun-Sentinel:
“We continue to liquidate the assets we have acquired, seek to obtain additional assets that we believe should be part of the receivership, and investigate and bring lawsuits against third parties that we believe are liable for their role in the scam,”
Debt Relief Scammers Busted
The case arose from a complaint filed last year by the FTC and Florida AG Pam Bondi. The FTC and Florida AG have claimed the three men spent four years misleading thousands of elderly and distressed consumers. The lawsuit alleges the companies falsely claimed that they would settle or win dismissals of consumer debts in court.
They argued the companies had created a program for consumers like no other. The trio also tried to argue that they had created a much more active engagement system. Additionally, their system offered a streamlined system by providing debt validation, credit repair, and litigation.
The companies were alleged to have claimed nonprofit status to help them appear more credible. They pitched their plans to consumers through telephoned sales pitches or via the internet.
The complaint alleged the various companies used false and deceptive sales practices. Sales agents urged consumers to bundle all of their balances into a single loan. The single loan would allow consumers to make small monthly payments at low-interest rates. Regulators alleged there were no loans. They also the companies rarely used the money they took from consumers to repay debts. In the end, the consumers still owed creditors their original debts plus interest.
Some consumers ended up defaulting on their debts or filed for personal bankruptcy.
Perlman said he has no information on when or how victims can receive repayments. Those logistics are up to the FTC. For more information, go to 321loansreceivership.com.