Three Michigan attorneys have been charged in connection with an alleged debt collection scheme that may not have been due, according to reports.
Oakland County attorneys – identified as Marc Fishman, 70; Ryan Fishman, 32; and Alexandra Ichim, 33, were charged with multiple counts of crimes that included dismissal, forgery and obstruction of justice, according to FOX 2 in Detroit.
“These people, this company, took advantage of the most vulnerable people in the state who were not familiar with the legal process or perhaps thought they needed to pay on debts they never owed,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Tuesday. while announcing the charges. “These lawyers put a dagger at the heart of a due process.”
VIRGINIA PARENTS, TEACHER GROUP ACCUSED OF ‘RACKETEERING’, INTIMATEING CONSERVING PARENTS
Marc Fishman, president and CEO of Fishman Group in Bloomfield Township, was accused of maintaining a criminal business and obstruction of justice, while Ryan Fishman and Ichim, who both work there, were accused of running a criminal business (racketeering) 30 counts of forgery and counting of obstacle to justice, according to The Detroit News.
The suspects allegedly tried to serve debt collection notices, and when those failed, they filed false papers through the court in at least 30 cases starting in August 2019, claiming that Fishman Group had lawfully served alleged debtors, Leyton said.
They would then allegedly use the right to try to get payments from people who were not legally served and who the company had not been able to contact, according to FOX 2.
In some cases, they would copy and paste information from legitimate documents, said Sherese Christopher Swanson of Genesee County. They are also alleged to have garnered wages from those whom they were trying to collect.
Prosecutors face up to 20 years in prison.
The alleged scheme sacrificed people in Genesee County, but officials said there are “hundreds and hundreds” of more victims in the state, Detroit News reported.
Officials noted that the law group has offices in Florida and Colorado, and the scheme may be “national.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“It’s greed. It’s simple greed,” Swanson said according to FOX 2. “If it were not for these victims and witnesses’ courage to come forward, we might not be here as soon as we are.”