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Legal Helpers Debt Resolution Accused of Orchestrating Conspiracy by Safeguard

According to court documents, a former Legal Helpers Debt Resolution marketer is none too happy with either Legal Helpers Debt Resolution or Nationwide Referral Services.

The following information is alleged or stated in court documents filed in Federal court on September 8, 2011.

Safeguard Support Services (“Safeguard”) is located in Florida and was a branch office of Legal Helpers Debt Resolution (“LHDR”) aka Macey, Aleman, Hyslip & Searns.

Under the terms of the agreement, “Safeguard provide administrative and marketing services to Legal Helpers Debt Resolution business in exchange for compensation paid to Safeguard.” That sounds like the typical sell the consumer and we’ll hire you to service the account and pay you, but hey, that’s not fee splitting, right?

In June 2009, Safeguard and LHDR entered into a branch office agreement. In exchange for new clients, Safeguard serviced under that agreement, LHDR allegedly owed Safeguard money. At some point LHDR decided to move those contracted functions from Safeguard to Nationwide Referral Services aka National Legal Referral Service (“Nationwide”).

The way it worked initially, LHDR would deposit funds on a monthly basis into accounts at a bank designated by LHDR, which were held in escrow. Here is the interesting part that makes the probability of fee splitting even greater.

Those funds are ultimately used by Legal Helpers to pay the obligations that were negotiated on behalf of its clients, as well as specified portion to Legal Helpers for its services. Likewise, these funds are the source from which both Safeguard and Nationwide were paid for their respective services.”

“Operating under the above contractual arrangements, Legal Helpers’ business was a success and all parties involved reaped the economic benefits from the business venture.”

Around December of 2009 John Lembo and Mark Mancino from Nationwide met with Safeguard to negotiate a “hold back” period where half (50%) of Safeguard’s earned fee would not be disbursed for 30 days. Safeguard agreed to this proposal.

From the complaint it appears Safeguard felt this was a one-time event but Nationwide continued to hold back 50% of the compensation due from December 2009 to March 2010.

Since March 2010 it is alleged LHDR, through Nationwide, has not paid Safeguard at all for the work they provided to LHDR. Ouch!

The complaint says, “Legal Helpers is both aware of and complicit in the failure to ensure that Safeguard has been compensated for services rendered.” The allegation is made that both Nationwide and LHDR “have orchestrated a conspiracy with each other to deprive Safeguard of large sums of monies owed…yet have allowed [Safeguard] to be mislead by such promises and misrepresentations, intentionally depriving [Safeguard] of its earned funds…”

The amount Safeguard claims is due them is seven million dollars, ($7,000,000) and continues to accrue at the rate of $100,000 per week.

You can read the original complaint, here. Unfortunately the one document I would have loved to have read, the net branch agreement, is not filed as part of the suit.

The suit was filed on behalf of Safeguard by:

Bradley Tobin, Esq.
[email protected]
2701 N. Rocky Point Drive
Suite 1000
Tampa, FL 33607
813-639-9366

The fascinating thing in this case is LHDR is being represented by Richard Epstein and/or Jonathan Brown of Greenspoon Marder.

The LHDR Response

The LHDR response is either A) Tough, or B) Stick it. It’s not clear which one is the primary. Needless to say LHDR argues they do not owe Safeguard the $7,000,000,000.

Legal Helpers Debt Resolution Accused of Orchestrating Conspiracy by Safeguard
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Guest

    Mark Mancino was previously arrested and charged for a form of sexual battery in Atlantic City NJ (in 2009) and plead out a deal for similar allegations in that he was accused of grabbing the hostess of a steakhouse in Atlantic City and grabbing her sexually. His present business partners were all aware of this and still allow him to be in a position of management. In addition, his partner John Lembo is also a convicted felon from stock fraud and spent nearly 3 years in federal prison. Again, the law firm/debt relief firm they work at was aware of this. You should also check and see that all money they take from their businesses is in the name of their wives and family members so that they avoid paying back the federal government huge amounts of money they owe in restitution. Check out the multi-million dollar estates they live in titled in their wives and mom’s names in new jersey and florida. These guys go from scam to scam. Firs t in jail for stock fraud, then they opened a debt settlement firm in arizona with attorney hass who got in huge trouble. If you get a list of their employees from nationwide during 2008 and 2009 you will find out that many woman have left them for harassment besides their criminal records and many prior accusations of sexually improper behavior.

  • allison

    WOW, assuming they haven’t been partnering since 3/10, they still are due $100,000 a WEEK!? After a year and a half, one would assume the pipeline of advance fees to split should be dwindled to a fraction. What the heck were they pulling in their cut before the hold back when things were real good? I guess they must also have tacked on some additional monthly fees that were ongoing. 

  • Alfred

    Ummmm….I do believe that at least one (maybe more than one) of the persons mentioned in this article are CONVICTED FELONS WHO HAVE SERVED PRISON TIME.  I am sure Steve will verify this in short order.

    How unsurprising.  Criminals usually act like criminals.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Interesting.

      According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons:
      Mark Mancino – 44 year old white male was released on 5-9-2002
      John Lembo III – 42 year old white male was released 2-27-2004

      Now I have no way to verify they are the exact same guys. So what I am reporting here is that the tip was correct in identifying there were two inmates released with the exact same names.

      There was also a John Santo Lembo – 65 year old white male released on 3-10-1995. Maybe a relation?

      You can verify this information yourself at bop.gov.

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