WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Nov. 21 the filing of a complaint in federal
district court against Access Funding LLC, alleging the company conducted an
illegal scheme to scam victims of lead-paint poisoning.
Access Funding is a structured-settlement-factoring company
that operated nationwide. Additional defendants in the case are Michael
Borkowski, CEO of Access Funding, Raffi Boghosian, chief operating officer of
Access Funding, Lee Jundanian, CEO of Access Funding from February 2013 to May
2014, and Charles Smith, a Maryland-based attorney.
According to the CFPB, Access Funding violated the
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s
ban on unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices. The defendants
allegedly steered consumers to a sham adviser and exploited consumer confusion
in order to keep deals going.
Access Funding purportedly told consumers to
receive “advice” from the sham adviser,
who said he was independent but was actually paid directly by Access Funding.
The adviser would tell consumers to take a lump sum payout from those
responsible for the lead paint, instead of a structured settlement.
“Many of these struggling
consumers were victimized first by toxic lead and, second, by a company that saw
them as little more than income streams to be courted and harvested,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The consumer bureau is
fighting to help vulnerable consumers who were swindled out of their
settlements and to prevent future abuses.”