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Post date: August 24 1999

Wny Credit Repair Scheme Charged With Fraud

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against an Erie County telemarketing company that preyed on consumers with damaged credit histories.

"As access to credit becomes more important in the daily lives of consumers, the instances of scams directed toward those with damaged credit histories also increases," Spitzer said. "It is for this important reason that my office vows to aggressively investigate and prosecute fraudulent activities of this kind."

Von Eric Oliver, owner of Credit Power Management of Buffalo, is accused of operating a "credit repair" scam and misrepresenting that he could grant credit cards in exchange for a $189 fee.

Under the scam, Credit Power Management targeted consumers who had recently applied for credit, but failed to obtain it due to a damaged credit history. The company's telemarketing representative would then inform the consumer that he/she had been "pre-approved" for a credit card.

It was only after the consumer verified that he/she had at least $200 in a checking account, that the telemarketer would explain that their "service" was not in actually issuing credit cards, but that they would be sending a "credit card package." Credit Power Management then would illegally debit the $189 from the consumer's checking account, but never send any package to the consumer.

Shortly after the Attorney General's Office began an investigation of Credit Power Management, the company closed. This legal action will prevent the company and its owner from conducting similar scams.

The lawsuit asks the court to require Oliver make full refunds to the victims and to assess fines for the various violations of law.

Any consumers who believe they have been damaged by Oliver and his company, Credit Power Management, are urged to call the Attorney General's consumer helpline at (800) 771-7755 or visit his web site at www.ag.ny.gov.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General James M. Morrissey of the Buffalo Regional Office Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection.