Ever had the grave misfortune, over the last five years, of receiving a call from Forensic Case Management Services in Van Nuys?
You'd definitely remember. (Though the company may have called itself Rumson, Bolling and Associates, Commercial Recovery Solutions, or something else along those lines.) A piece on the front page of the LA Daily News today details a lawsuit being brought against the "shake-down" debt-collecting agency by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Some of the phone calls the six accused officers allegedly made to bully small businesses and individuals into paying up are almost hilariously evil --
These guys seriously blur the line between white- and blue-collar criminals. (And indeed, 50 of their employed harrassers were actual parolees.) Here are the Greatest Hits from their trove of (alleged) bad-horror-movie oneliners.
"Pay up, or we'll dig up your dead daughter and hang her body from a tree."
"Pay up, or we'll shoot and eat your dog."
"Are you going to pay this bill or not, or am I going to have to kill you?"
"Jesus paid his bills. Why don't you? We have had this account for 4 months now. Not even $1. That is not what Jesus wants. That is why the Muslims are winning."
Threatened to injure debtors or their pets, or desecrate the remains of relatives.
Name-called debtors things like "deadbeat piece of crap crackerhead."
Once they had verbally abused their targets into paying up, the FTC claims the rogue debt collectors either "kept more than they were entitled" or "falsely claimed they discovered 'hidden wealth' that required legal fees."
(A complaint filed on RipOffReport.com could have told you that years ago.)
This civil lawsuit would force them to pay back their $20 million in profits and prevent them from conducting business in the future.
In the understatement of the century, FTC attorney Christopher Koegel tells the Daily News that the defendants employed "really distasteful harassment."
Rick Copelan, president of the Ventura/Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo County Better Business Bureau, is a little more fair, calling them "one of the nastiest groups we've dealt with in my 15 years here."
A list of the defendants:
David M. Hynes, company founder. (Sherman Oaks)
Lorena Quiroz-Hynes, his wife. (Sherman Oaks)
James Hynes, his brother. (North Hollywood)
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Kevin Medley (Oxnard)
Heather True (Oxnard)
Frank E. Lindstrom Jr. (Oxnard)
Their lawyer denies it was an illegal operation, but says, "If any of these isolated allegations were true, they should not have happened." Right.