Md. AG says lawyer was con artist

Bryan Cohen Aug. 20, 2012, 1:00pm


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced on Friday that his Consumer Protection Division issued a final order against a man claiming to be a lawyer who allegedly took thousands of dollars from consumers.

Corey W. Hankerson, who operated as Equity Law Group LLC from 2009 to 2011, allegedly told consumers he was a lawyer and offered to provide credit and legal services. The services included foreclosure consulting and loan modification services. The six victims who testified in the case allegedly paid $12,750 in fees to Hankerson for assistance he never provided.

"Con artists like this can make a difficult situation even worse for vulnerable consumers," Gansler said. "It is outrageous that a person would misrepresent himself as a lawyer in order to take advantage of Marylanders struggling for their financial survival."

In November, the division alleged that Hankerson violated the Maryland Protection of Homeowners in Foreclosure Act, the Credit Services Businesses Act and the Consumer Protection Act. In the final order, the division alleged that Hankerson falsely claimed he was a lawyer who could legally provide foreclosure consulting and credit services.

The division also alleges that Hankerson failed to comply with legal requirements of the Protection of Homeowners in Foreclosure Act and the Credit Services Business Act regarding disclosures and notices that must be given to consumers entering into agreements for foreclosure consulting and credit services.

The final order requires Hankerson to stop representing his qualifications to consumers and stop offering credit services unless he obtains a license and posts the required bond. Hankerson must also return all the money he took from consumers, including the $12,750 he allegedly took from the six consumers who testified.

The order penalized Hankerson $300 for each of the 787 days he allegedly illegally advertised his services for a total penalty of $236,100.

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