AG sues congressman's son for $500 million

Chris Rizo Aug. 13, 2008, 1:30pm

Tom Corbett (R)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline)-Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett has said he is suing a Maryland-based mortgage company for making illegal phone solicitations.

Corbett alleges that Direct LeadSource, Inc. engaged in "the largest-ever systematic effort to violate the Do Not Call program since it was created."

The Baltimore-based company is run Cory Ruppersberger, the son of U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.

"This is a business matter that my son Cory is working through with his attorney. I have no involvement in his company," the congressman said in a statement.

Cory Ruppersberger is accused of using a call center in Gujarat, India, to make 500,000 illegal mortgage solicitations by phone between 2005 and 2007 to consumers in 36 Pennsylvania counties who were listed on the state's Do Not Call registry.

The attorney general is seeking $500 million in civil penalties for violations of the state's Consumer Protection Law; the Telemarketer Registration Act; the Mortgage Bankers and Brokers and Consumer Equity Protection Act; the Secondary Mortgage Loan Act; and the Fictitious Names Act.

"This is the most extensive campaign of telemarketing calls to consumers on the Do Not Call list ever investigated by my office," Corbett said in a statement. "They invaded the homes of thousands of Pennsylvania residents with unsolicited and unwanted phone calls, marketing mortgage loans that they were not licensed to sell."

The attorney general said Ruppersberger and his business are not licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking to sell mortgages in the Keystone State.

The lawsuit seeks full restitution for consumers and civil penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation, and up to $3,000 for violations involving seniors.

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