CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his office has entered into a $500,000 consent judgment against attorney Thomas A. Moore of Fallbrook, Calif. and his closely held corporation, Moore Legal Center of Oceanside, Calif. resolving alleged violations of the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

Moore Legal Center advertised to consumers that it could settle consumers’ debt for less than what was owed. Attorney General Morrisey alleged most consumers never had their debts settled by Moore. Many never had one debt settled even though hundreds, sometimes thousands, in fees had been paid.

Moore Legal Center did not issue refunds until Attorney General Morrisey’s office intervened. Moore used a “back office” provider in Michigan to provide most of the debt settlement services, including debt negotiation. Moore sometimes used attorneys in other states to act as “local counsel,” but did not have one in West Virginia for several years of operation.

“Moore advertised his debt relief services included a credit restoration department, which it did not, and claimed attorneys negotiated debt settlements when they did not, for consumers in West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Debt settlers must comply with the Consumer Credit and Protection Act under my watch as Attorney General.”

Moore has already paid $50,000 of the judgment to the state, and agreed to pay the remaining $450,000 by making payments of $12,500 for 36 months. Moore also agreed to cease all debt settlement activities in West Virginia.

Moore’s firm had at least 209 West Virginia customers, with thousands more across the country. The Attorney General filed a complaint against Moore in March 2020, alleging multiple violations of the state Consumer Credit and Protection Act.