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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Buffalo-based illegal debt collecting scheme shut down by the state

Attorney General's office says those involved used extremely deceptive and abusive tactics to collect debts.
Close-up of American dollar bills

ALBANY, N.Y. — An operation that used, what the New York State Attorney General's office called, 'extremely deceptive and abusive tactics' to collect debts, has been shut down.

The office said the scheme was based in Buffalo and carried out by Kenneth Thomas and at least six other people and entities. Those responsible would use a spoofing service to make it appear the call was coming from a local court or sheriff's office. 

The AG's office said while pretending to be a government official, consumers were threatened by the caller with bench warrants, pick-up orders, license suspensions and other false threats. They allegedly also made threats to the consumers' friends, family and employer. 

“Those who use illegal and unconscionable tactics to cheat consumers out of their hard-earned money will face the full weight of my office,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Not only did the respondents allegedly impersonate attorneys and officers of the court, but they intimidated and threatened consumers with extreme legal repercussions — like arrest or license suspension — for not complying with their predatory practices. I am committed to protecting consumers and putting a stop to these fraudulent and exploitative schemes.”

A judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing Kenneth Thomas, Wesley Newman, and their business entity, Midway Resolution Services LLC a/k/a Midway Resolution Group a/k/a Greenland Recovery Group, as well as Johnfredrick Daniels, Jasmine Ashley Daniels, and their business entity, Jax Management Company LLC, from taking part in debt collection and other related practices. All bank accounts were frozen and those named were prohibited from destroying any business records. 

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will seek to permanently ban Thomas and the others from the debt collection industry and will seek restitution and damages for those affected by the scheme.