State Wins Order To Shut Down Bogus Debt Counseling Agency In Queens
Attorney General Spitzer has won a court order that shuts down a an illegal Queens-based debt consolidation business aimed at Latinos, as well as a judgment ordering full restitution to the company's 3,000 victims.
Justice Joan A. Madden of State Supreme Court in Manhattan has ruled that the Trescha Corporation, otherwise known as "Financial Law Fitness" and "Multi Service," all of which operated at 82-11 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, and its owner and operator, Alex Treschzanski, repeatedly committed fraud through his "credit counseling/debt consolidation" services.
In September, 1999, Spitzer's office accused Treschzanski of deceiving consumers into paying exorbitant fees, between $295 and $895, to receive help paying their debts. This assistance is readily available to consumers at virtually no charge at agencies such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service.
"Under the guise of 'consumer counseling services' this man has victimized individuals already in crisis," Spitzer said. "My office has successfully shut down his operation and made sure that this scam artist will no longer target and take advantage of debt-laden Latinos. We will continue our aggressive oversight of the consumer financial assistance industry."
The lawsuit also charged that Treschzanski's businesses hired untrained and unqualified "financial counselors" who discouraged consumers from getting legal advice about bankruptcy and told them that its "debt consolidation" services were the only viable option to their financial problems.
Treschzanski's businesses advertised heavily in New York City's Hispanic community on radio, cable television, and in newspapers, targeting financially troubled individuals looking for assistance in paying off mounting credit card debts.
Spitzer reported that hundreds of consumers had complained to his office and the State Banking Department about Treschzanski's companies.
The judge ruled that decisions regarding civil penalties would be addressed at a later date after restitution has been made to the victims.
Individuals interested in filing a complaint against Treschzanski and his debt consolidation services, Trescha, Inc., Multi Service, and Financial Law Fitness are encouraged to call the Attorney General's consumer help line at (800) 771-7755 or visit the web site at www.ag.ny.gov.
This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General and Director of Consumer Advocacy Stephen Mindell, and Assistant Attorneys General Jane Azia, Herbert Israel and Andre Lugo of the Consumer Fraud and Protection Bureau.
Attorney General Spitzer thanked the State Banking Department for its cooperation and assistance on this case.