California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Tuesday announced nearly $1.5 million in civil penalties and restitution orders for Long Beach-based telemarketers accused of cheating victims who had sought to recover lost money through previous investments.
Consumer Rights Legal Services was ordered to pay $625,000 in civil penalties and nearly $568,000 in restitution to former clients, with its president and owner, James Davitt, being ordered to pay $250,000 in penalties, according to Becerra’s office.
Also named in the judgments were:
— Kamrin T. Kelly, who was ordered to pay $25,000 in penalties;
— Jordan Van Atta, who was ordered to pay $20,000; and
— Maria Salazar, who was ordered to pay $10,800 in penalties.
The defendants did not admit any wrongdoing under the judgments, which were approved May 15 by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
The Attorney General’s Office alleged that the company and the telemarketers cheated more than 150 victims by offering bogus “investment recovery services” that would purportedly recover money that victims — many of whom were elderly — had lost hundreds as a result of previous schemes.
The telemarketers claimed the company could recover their investments for an up-front fee of several thousand dollars, with some victims paying to recover fees they had paid to a prior “investment recovery” scam operation called Consumer Advocate Services Enterprises, where Davitt and other personnel from Consumer Rights Legal Services had previously worked, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
“In this case, these con artists not only targeted the elderly, they doubled down to cheat Californians who had already been the victims of financial fraud,” Becerra said.
The company’s phone number is no longer in service.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: