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Post date: February 9 2007

Broome County Man To Pay $7,400 In Restitution And Penalties For Unlicensed Practice Of Law

NEW YORK, NY (February 9, 2007)—Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that Broome County’s William Slote, who is not an attorney, will return more than $5,000 to southern tier residents who hired him to perform legal work.

Mr. Slote, who did business under the name “Repo Justice,” traveled to local courts in Broome, Chenango, Tioga, and Cortland counties to obtain records identifying the names and addresses of consumers who were being sued for defaulted automobile loans.  He then approached these consumers with offers to represent them for fees of up to $225 for investigation and preparation of legal papers.  His defenses were rarely, if ever, successful.

“Unqualified and untrained individuals posing as licensed attorneys present a threat to the well-being of those they profess to protect,” said Attorney General Cuomo. 

As a result of the settlement, Mr. Slote has agreed to refrain from soliciting clients or drafting legal documents.  He will pay $5,400 in restitution to the 38 consumers he charged for his services, and he will pay a civil penalty of $2,000.  In addition, Mr. Slote has agreed to pay restitution for any other consumers who file complaints with the Office of the Attorney General that show they paid Mr. Slote for legal services.

Consumers with complaints about William Slote or Repo Justice are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline at (800) 771-7755.

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Michael J. Danaher, Jr. of the Binghamton Regional Office, with the assistance of Senior Investigator Jon Wescott, and under the supervision of Dennis C. McCabe, Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Binghamton Regional Office.