LIT COMMENTARY ON “$23M RECOVERY” PRESS RELEASE BY NC AG JOSH STEIN.
IT’S TOTAL HOGWASH.
OCT. 12, 2022
First, the $23m purchased debt by Gordon Engle is likely over 10 years old and therefore legally it could not be collected.
Second, the most notable part of the consent order is the fact the state is recovering all it’s licensing fees for the Engle companies, so in 3 years he can resume business.
In summary, the whole consent deal is corrupt and the bottom line is that the recovery was around $225k, not $23 million. The AG’s press release is condoning white collar crimes in N.C can be bought for a small payment, if you are in the debt collection industry.
The government has allowed a criminal to get away with serious financial crimes, bank wire fraud and related felonies for a suspended sentence. If he wasn’t doin’ Wall Street’s dirty work, as a regular joe, Gordon Engle would be doin’ life behind bars.
Attorney General Josh Stein Wins More than $23 Million in Financial Relief for More Than 20,000 North Carolinians Harmed by Charlotte-Area Debt Collector
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Contact: Nazneen Ahmed
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein won a consent judgment against Cornelius resident Gordon Scott Engle and his Texas-based debt collection companies Turtle Creek Assets Ltd. (TCA), Turtle Creek Rentals LLC (TCR), and Royal Park Holdings Inc., that will result in $22,934,075.17 in consumer debt forgiveness for more than 20,000 people and full refunds of $223,018.98 to more than 650 people.
The defendants must also pay $6,000 in civil penalties for violations of the business registration acts, $1,475 in unpaid business registration fees, and $20,000 in attorney fees and investigative costs.
“This debt collector operated illegally in North Carolina and took advantage of hardworking people,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “My office will hold accountable companies that break the law, and I’m pleased that this court order will bring real financial relief for more than 20,000 North Carolina consumers.”
Attorney General Stein sued the defendants in 2019 alleging they were conducting illegal debt collection practices.
From 2012 to 2018, Engle used his debt collection companies to purchase unpaid consumer debt from Aarons Inc., a national corporation that sells rent-to-own household furniture, appliances, and electronics.
Since 2018, Engle collected or attempted to collect on these unpaid debts from North Carolina consumers, even though he did not have the correct registration or permits to operate in the state.
Defendants allegedly sent customers simulated court notices that were not from the court and claimed they had committed a criminal violation by failing to return rented property and needed to return the property in 48 hours.
When consumers contacted TCA or TCR, they received more debt collection threats, including threats of arrest.
Engle and his companies also filed criminal complaints in several counties that resulted in actual criminal summonses being issued against customers.
In addition to the financial relief from consumers, the defendants are permanently banned from collecting debt in North Carolina and must also:
Give up any claims to the property that was the subject of the debt.
Clear negative credit lines at credit reporting agencies.
Stop collecting on any civil judgments and file to vacate those judgments.
Cooperate with consumers and the courts to get criminal convictions and pending charges expunged.
Report compliance to the attorney general’s office.
A copy of the judgment is available here.
I am running for Superior Court Judge in Wake County, NC.
I am an experienced prosecutor with nearly 28 years in the District Attorneys Office where I have worked to seek justice for the citizens of Wake County.
I grew up in Jacksonville, NC and attended and graduated from Davidson College in Davidson, NC and the UNC School of Law in Chapel Hill. Upon graduation in 1987, I came to Raleigh and worked as an Associate Attorney with the civil litigation firm of Yates, Fleishman, McLamb, and Weyher.
In July 1989, I joined the Wake Country District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney.
The first two years I prosecuted misdemeanors and traffic offenses. I then had the opportunity to serve as a contract drug prosecutor (one of only eight in the state) mandated to prosecute high-level drug traffickers and their organizations.
For the last 23 years, I have prosecuted felony offenses in Wake County Superior Court which include drug offenses, violent and nonviolent crimes and murders. During that time, I have been involved in hundreds of jury trials and numerous high-profile cases.
I would appreciate the opportunity to serve you and all citizens of Wake County as a Superior Court Judge.
Becky Holt for Superior Court Judge
PO Box 1714
Raleigh, NC 27602
North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced that Gordon Scott Engle, 57, of 16424 Green Dolphin Lane, Cornelius, has pleaded guilty to five counts of felony debt collecting without a license.
Mecklenburg County Superior Court Judge Casey Viser gave Engle a five-to-15-month suspended sentence with two years of supervised probation. Engle was also fined $5,000 and prohibited from applying for a debt collection license for three years. He will also be required to complete 100 hours of community service work.
“I want to thank all of the various divisions at the Department of Insurance who worked with our special agents to investigate this case,” Commissioner Causey said. “I also want to thank all the federal and state agencies, including the Attorney General’s office and district attorneys in 17 counties for their cooperation in bringing about justice for the victims of this case.”
The Department of Insurance began investigating Eagle and his debt collection company, Turtle Creek, after receiving a referral from the N.C. Attorney General’s office. The Agent Services Division and Criminal Investigations Division examined the company, which had purchased debt accounts from primarily rent-to-owned businesses.
Special agents worked with district attorneys’ offices in 17 counties – Alexander, Anson, Burke, Cumberland, Davie, Guilford, Iredell, Lee, Mecklenburg, Moore, Richmond, Rowan, Stanley, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin – to dismiss criminal summonses Engle had taken out charging 81 North Carolinians with failure to return rental equipment charges.
To report suspected fraud or other white-collar crime, contact the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.gov.