CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey this week filed a lawsuit against two attorneys for allegedly duping West Virginia consumers—the pair, who runs debt relief services, allegedly failed to settle accounts of West Virginia consumers and refused to return tens of thousands of dollars to their clients.

The four-count civil lawsuit names two California lawyers, Frank Kucera and Marilyn Thomassen. Neither are licensed to practice law in West Virginia and Kucera’s California law license is currently suspended.

“As I have mentioned numerous times in the past on similar instances, those who breach the trust of consumers in West Virginia have no place in our state,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Above all, those who are thinking of doing business in the state should follow our consumer protection laws because if not, our office will vigorously investigate, and if necessary litigate, any violation.”

So far, four consumers are listed in the lawsuit—all alleging they were charged with “a wide range of unlawful fees,” and the defendants ceased communications with them when the consumers notified them that their services are no longer needed. The defendants also allegedly “refused to return thousands of dollars from trust accounts that belonged to consumers who discontinued the debt settlement services.”

Debt settlement is an offer for a plan or strategy for a fee to consumers to settle their outstanding credit card debts. Consumers are advised “to stop making payments to their unsecured creditors, generally credit card accounts.” They are directed to make monthly payments to the debt settlement company. The money is then held in trust accounts—to be used to negotiate a lump sum payment often less than the actual balance owed.

The most common issue among the consumers was that the defendants allegedly were not able to settle all their debt payments, and the defendants failed to return the money that had been sent for payment. Kucera and Thomassen were involved in debt services in the state since 2014.

Both have business addresses in California.

The Attorney General believes “there are other victims who may become known during the course of this litigation.

The lawsuit is asking the Circuit Court of Mineral County to award judgment of all payments collected from the four consumers (more than $40,000) along with $5,000 for each violation of the state’s Consumer Credit Protection Act.

Read a copy of the lawsuit at:

Anyone who believes they are a victim of this practice or any other scam can call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or visit the office online at