AG Yost Sues Florida Debt Collector,Alleging Illegal, Abusive Practices in Ohio
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is suing a Florida man who employed harassing and abusive tactics to try to collect debts from Ohio consumers.
“After strong-arming his way to collecting on notes, he himself better be ready to face the music,” Yost said. “Harassment is no way to do business, and it makes this bad actor morally bankrupt.”
The lawsuit, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, targets Orlando-based Myriad Capital Management and its owner, Chris Rivera, who collected debts from Ohio consumers using various names, including Franklin Moss & Associates, Koplan Welsh & Associates, and Blackwell Mathis Group.
The complaint alleges that Rivera frequently changed business names and purposefully used names that sound like law firms in an effort to convince consumers that a lawsuit would be filed if they did not pay the debts.
Yost’s office received 13 complaints from Ohio consumers who detailed harassment and abuse from Rivera’s businesses, including incessant phone calls and intimidating and threatening language.
Some reported that Rivera had threatened them with a lawsuit or jail time, or claimed that their bank accounts would be frozen – all in an attempt to coerce payments from unsuspecting victims, including many who didn’t think they were responsible for the debts in question or who believed they had already paid the debts.
Specifically, Yost’s lawsuit alleges that Rivera violated the Consumer Sales Practices by:
Using abusive or harassing conduct to collect debts.
Making false, misleading or deceptive representations in connection with his debt collection.
Misrepresenting an affiliation with lawyers or a law firm.
Contacting consumers repeatedly by phone to collect the alleged debts after being advised by consumers that they didn’t owe the debts.
Threatening legal actions against consumers, such as arrest or wage garnishment, that he had no legal authority to follow up on or intention of doing.
Representing or implying that nonpayment of debts would result in the filing of civil actions when such actions weren’t lawful.
Changing business names often to prevent consumers from obtaining reliable information about his business practices.
Failing to honor consumers’ written requests to verify the debts that he was attempting to collect.
Yost’s lawsuit seeks to recover consumer damages, civil penalties of $25,000 for each violation of the Consumer Sales Protection Act, and a permanent injunction to prevent Rivera and Myriad Capital from violating the statute, regardless of the business name used.
Consumers who think have been affected by Rivera’s business practices are encouraged to contact Yost’s office by filing a complaint or calling 800-282-0515.