Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi sued Consumer Collection Advocates Corp. and owner Michael Robert Ettus on Thursday for allegedly offering to recover funds for fraud victims for a fee and then failing to follow through.
The company allegedly offered to collect funds scammed from consumers in previous instances for an upfront fee and a percentage of funds recovered. The victims said they were given a guarantee that the funds would be recovered, but in most cases they were not and no refund was received for fees already paid.
The attorney general's office is seeking an injunction to stop the business from operating in Florida due to alleged violations of consumer protection laws. The attorney general's office, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, and the Better Business Bureau received 115 complaints from consumers about the misleading business practices and sales tactics of the company.
The Federal Trade Commission has filed a similar suit against the company in the U.S. Southern District Court of Florida.
“This company allegedly took advantage of consumers who had already been exploited in previous scams, and today we have taken steps to stop this business from unlawfully operating in Florida,” Bondi said.