COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Florida man accused of using harassment and abusive tactics to collect debts from Ohio consumers is being sued by state Attorney General Dave Yost.
According to a release from the attorney general’s office, the lawsuit, filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, is filed against Myriad Capital Management and its owner, Chris Rivera, of Orlando. Rivera allegedly collected debts from Ohio consumers using multiple names, such as Franklin Moss & Associates, Koplan Welsh & Associates, and Blackwell Mathis Group.
Rivera reportedly changed business names that sounded like law firms to persuade consumers that a lawsuit would be filed if they did not make good on their debts. The attorney general’s office received 13 complaints from Ohioans, who detailed harassment and abuse from Rivera’s various businesses, including constant phone calls and intimidation and threatening language.
The report said some reported that Rivera threatened them with jail time or claimed their bank accounts would be frozen while coercing payments from the victims.
The lawsuit alleged that Rivera violated the Consumer Sales Practices Act with the following:
- 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
The attorney general’s office seeks to recover consumer damages and impose civil penalties of $25,000 for each violation of the Consumer Sales Protection Act.