Fake Debt Collector Scams Thousands, Pleads Guilty
Dealing with an endless barrage of debt collection calls is one thing, but when a debt collector demands that you pay a debt, threatening legal action even though you don’t recall owing any debt to begin with? That’s something else entirely.
Unfortunately, this was the reality for nearly 600,000 Americans when Kirit Patel’s company, Broadway Global Master, posed as a debt collection agency and made over 2.7 million phone calls between 2010 and 2012, fraudulently collecting more than $5.2 million from unsuspecting consumers.
Operating from call center in India, Patel and Broadway Global Master had agents calling consumers to collect on debts that – according to prosecutors and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – didn’t exist in the first place.
It wasn’t until the FTC caught on to Patel’s shady debt collection practices that it put a halt to his unlawful activity, freezing his operation and seizing the company’s assets, so it could further its investigation.
While Patel has plead guilty to four of the counts of mail and wire fraud held against him, he has been charged with 21 total counts of mail fraud and wire fraud.
Patel and Broadway Global Master were in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from harassing consumers and posing as government officials – including police officers and representatives from government agencies – which were standard collection tactics at Broadway Global Master.
On top of it all, back-to-back calls and accompanying threats were all too common. It was reported that one consumer received a threat that her children would be taken from her if she did not pay what the debt collector claimed she owed.
Ultimately, the debts under collection by Broadway Global Master were fake, and the whole operation was determined to be a scam. While a guilty plea may lighten his sentence, Patel could face as much as a $250,000 fine and 20 years in prison for his crimes.
While there are plenty of legitimate debt collection agencies, all debt collectors are required by law to respect your FDCPA rights. If you receive harassing, threatening, or excessive phone calls from any person or agency attempting to collect on a debt, it’s important to have your case reviewed by one of our consumer law attorneys. You have explicit rights under the FDCPA, and you may be entitled to compensation if those rights have been violated.