A trio of lawyers now face multiple felony charges for running a criminal enterprise to prey on some of the most vulnerable populations.
The Genesee County District Attorney is indicting Oakland County attorneys saying they would serve people as debt collectors and use the courts to garnish the salaries of victims who were unaware of what was going on. The number of victims could be over 1,000.
“This case involves father-son duo Mark and Ryan Fishman of the Fishman Group, a professional debt collection law firm in Oakland County, as well as third party Alexandra Ichim,” the county prosecutor said. by Genesee, David Leyton.
The three lawyers are said to have developed schemes for years, destroying the lives of thousands of victims, totaling well over millions of dollars.
“These lawyers fraudulently took a shortcut and they were forging certificates of service showing that the defendants were served when we knew they weren’t,” Leyton said. “Then they would proceed to get court defaults, court default judgments and they would garnish wages, foreclose bank accounts, get assets that they weren’t legally allowed to get.”
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said the scheme was over. The trio were charged with a total of 32 crimes, including racketeering, forgery and obstruction of justice.
“They were arrested, all three. They were transported to the Genesee County Jail and they were brought to justice on the charges, ”Swanson said.
The father in this case, Mark Fishman, was arraigned on a cash bond of $ 40,000. His son Ryan and Alexandra Ichim were both arrested on $ 160,000 bail.
Swanson asks anyone else who might have been a victim to go through their papers and come up with something nefarious.
“We will fight for every penny stolen,” he said.
Even before the accusations were announced, some people spoke out through the companies’ Google Reviews, including the following:
“Give only one star because I can’t give less. By far the most rude unprofessional people I have ever met. They filed court documents without ever informing me or even sending a letter to the place where I live, they sent it to a house where I was 15 years ago.
Another review, left by someone who didn’t want to go on camera, called the company unprofessional and said she had wrongly involved her business in a debt collection.
“After posting that 10-20 people probably liked what I wrote about it, I kept thinking there had to be something more to it,” the man told TV5.
Several critics say the law firm has sued them for money they don’t owe and will not return their calls.
“Well I’m glad they’re doing something about it, I mean it’s just blatant,” the man said.
TV5 contacted the Fishman group and had no response.