CFPB Flexes Enforcement Muscle In 1st Criminal Referral

By Evan Weinberger (May 7, 2013, 7:53 PM EDT) -- Criminal charges filed Tuesday against a New York debt settlement firm based on a referral from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau show that the fledgling agency's enforcement staff will be able to successfully leverage its unique investigative powers, attorneys say.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York charged Michael Levitis, his company Mission Settlement Agency and three employees of the company with mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud alleging they scammed 1,200 customers seeking debt relief out of about $2.2 million.

The case was the direct result of a referral from...

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