Buffalo: New York Attorney General Letitia James announced she is shutting down an illegal debt collection scheme operating in western New York and recovering $1.2 million in penalties and restitution for victims. An agreement with Buffalo-based debt collector Andrew Fanelli and his companies permanently bans them from any future consumer debt collection. Collectors working for Fanelli’s companies routinely used illegal tactics to collect consumer debt, including false threats of criminal action, wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension, and lawsuits.
“New Yorkers can trust that I will always stand up for our most vulnerable, especially when their wallets are at risk,” said Attorney General James. “While illegal debt collectors have used Buffalo as their hub of operations for illicit conduct for years, we are continuing to fight back and shut down these companies one by one. The unlawful behavior perpetrated by Andrew Fanelli and his companies defrauded consumers, but this agreement will end their illegal behavior, once and for all. I encourage anyone who may have fallen victim to these deceptive debt collectors to immediately file a claim with our office to recover what was unlawfully taken from them.”
This agreement permanently bans Fanelli and his companies from engaging in consumer debt collection, consumer debt brokering, consumer lending, debt settlement, credit repair services, and payment processing. Within six months, Fanelli is required to dissolve all of his companies.
The agreement also requires Fanelli and his companies to pay $1.2 million to the OAG in restitution and penalties.