From http://www.myfloridalegal.com/
Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
November 6, 2014
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General Bondi and the FTC File Suit against Company Preying on Victims of Fraud

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office has filed a lawsuit against Consumer Collection Advocates, Corp., and Michael Robert Ettus, CCA Principal, for allegedly targeting consumers who were victims of previous frauds or scams. In return for upfront payments and a percentage of any recovery, the company contracted with these victims, guaranteeing to recover the monies the victims lost as the result of the earlier fraud or scam, but often failing to deliver on that guarantee. The Attorney General’s Office also seeks to obtain an injunction to stop the business from operating in violation of Florida laws. The Federal Trade Commission has filed a parallel lawsuit against CCA in the U.S. Southern District Court of Florida. The Attorney General’s Office, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau received 115 complaints about the defendants’ business practices.

“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,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi.

According to the investigation, the defendants violated:
· Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act by misrepresenting defendants’ business status and purported fee recovery services and making false and misleading statements to induce consumers to pay for goods or services;
· The Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule by requesting or receiving upfront payment from consumers for services represented to recover or assist in the return of money paid for by the consumer in a previous telemarketing transaction; and
· The Florida Telemarketing Act by refusing consumers a refund, credit or replacement for services which are not presented or not received as promised.

CCA, a Broward County-based company, is a for-profit corporation that advertises, solicits, offers and sells services to victims of financial scams and assists in the return of monies lost in various financial schemes. CCA is licensed with the Florida Department of Financial Regulation as a consumer collection agency and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs as a commercial telemarketer. The Florida Department of Financial Regulation assisted the Attorney General’s Office in this matter.

The temporary injunction would prohibit the defendants from engaging in the following acts and practices:
· Receiving upfront payments from consumers seeking tor recover funds lost in telemarketing scams;
· Misrepresenting the nature and the efficacy of defendants’ fee recovery services;
· Misrepresenting any affiliation with governmental organizations; and
· Violating any provision of FDUPTA, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, or the Florida Telemarketing Act.
Anyone who suspects unfair or deceptive business practices can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online at MyFloridaLegal.com or in-state via phone at 1-866-NO-SCAM. Out-of-state individuals can call 850-414-3990.

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