Former Niagara Falls woman accused of debt collection fraud crime news

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A former Niagara Falls woman was charged Thursday with conspiring to defraud thousands of people across the country in a debt collection operation in Erie and Niagara counties.

The accused were Angela Burdorf, 42, of New Port Richey, Fla., who operated collections company Vantage Point Services in Amherst and owned payment processors Payment Management Solutions in Amherst and Solidified Payment Solutions in Niagara Falls.

She was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 16 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud against the United States.

It is not the first time that Burdorf has gotten into legal difficulties because of collection procedures.

In 2018, a federal judge permanently banned her and two other collection agencies from the collections industry for practices that violate federal and state laws. The judge also ordered the three to pay a total of $27 million in restitution and damages to settle the civil suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

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Here are snapshots of some cases against debt collectors that the Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Trade Commission, and other law enforcement agencies have prosecuted over the past decade.

In the current indictment, a grand jury alleges that Burdorf and unnamed co-conspirators ran collection agencies, lied to consumers and threatened arrest, and collected amounts already paid or in excess of what was actually owed.

Over a 22-day period in April 2017, collection agencies received approximately $69,000 in payments from Burdorf and the others from their victims, according to the grand jury.

Burdorf and her co-conspirators also operated several credit card payment processing companies that were used to collect payments from consumers.

She and the others avoided paying taxes on the payments received by transferring money to other companies and falsely claiming the payments were business expenses, the grand jury claimed.

The indictment identified these companies as involved in the plan: United Mediation Group; Payment Management Solutions; Solidified Payment Solutions LLC; check and credit services; viewpoint services; Northern District Resolution Services, LLC; M&B staff; legal advice services; and Bonafied Payment Solutions, Inc.

US prosecutors are seeking to forfeit $69,004 from Burdorf in the case.

In the 2018 civil case, debt collectors Burdorf, Joseph Ciffa and Gregory MacKinnon, both from Grand Island, were disfellowshipped from the industry. Authorities said at the time that MacKinnon owned Vantage Point Services and Ciffa owned Bonified Payment Solutions Inc.

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