West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw on Tuesday sued an Arizona-based debt relief company and its owner in hopes of banning the company from doing business in the state.
McGraw's office last month began investigating Allied Corporate Connection, based in Mesa, Ariz., and owner Lisa Miller, of Chandler, Ariz., after receiving numerous complaints from West Virginia consumers claiming they paid fees of nearly $1,000 to telemarketers identifying themselves as representatives of First Secure Management. Those representatives promised to reduce interest rates, guaranteeing a minimum savings of $2,000.
McGraw cited "unlawful telemarketing sales of dubious debt relief services" to West Virginia consumers in the lawsuit.
The investigation revealed that Miller was behind the First Secure Management scheme after the investigation revealed the telemarketing company's address was a private mailbox leased to Miller and Allied Corporate Connection. McGraw's office said it subsequently issued an investigative subpoena, but Miller and Allied failed to comply with it.
McGraw's suit officially asks the court to enjoin Miller and her companies from engaging in the illegal sales of debt relief and credit services in West Virginia. It also asks that all payments collected from West Virginia consumers be refunded and that Miller and her companies be assessed civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation of West Virginia consumer protection laws.