TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Tampa lawyer Eric Mader and his firm for allegedly running a deceptive nationwide foreclosure-rescue operation.
Mader, Mader Law Group and Sean Batcheler, the firm's operator, allegedly charged illegal fees to consumers and failed to provide them with promised assistance.
The defendants allegedly lured consumers using websites that mimicked government sites. The sites allegedly failed to disclose that they were promotional materials devised by and for Mader Law Group.
The defendants also allegedly misrepresented that consumers would be enrolled in government assistance programs or get lender loan modifications, and charged fees for services that were never rendered.
In some instances, Mader allegedly offered refunds to some consumers if they agreed to withdraw their complaints about him to the Florida Bar, which regulates state lawyers.
"We will not allow scam artists to defraud Florida's homeowners who are seeking financial relief," Bondi said in a statement.
The lawsuit seeks to temporarily and permanently enjoin the defendants from violating the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule and the violation of additional Florida laws.
The attorney general's suit also seeks reimbursement for each consumer allegedly victimized by the defendants' business practices, civil penalties and the payment of attorney fees and costs.