ABC Debt Relief had been sued previously by one of their senior debt consultants, G. Chris Onorato. For some reason Onorato sought new counsel and filed a new suit against ABC Debt Relief and this time names Kevin Devoto as an owner of ABC Debt Relief.
Up until this point the fact Kevin Devoto was an owner of ABC Debt Relief has been secret or at least not publicly available as far as I could find. I first came across the name when ABC Debt Relief tried to get a story about them pulled from the site. See the update on this story. In the document that was sent to me it listed Kevin Devoto as owner and that started a search for who was the guy. I’d not heard of him before and his name was not listed in any other public document I’d seen about ABC Debt Relief.
From the September 10, 2010 suit by G. Chris Onorato against ABC Debt Relief, Lloyd Regner, and Kevin Devoto. – Source
- Defendant Lloyd Regner (“Regner”) is an owner and Chief Executive Officer of
ABC Debt Relief, Ltd. Co. During all material times, Regner was a supervisor of Plaintiff actively involved in the management of ABC. Service of process may be had on Lloyd Regner at 12655 N. Central Expressway, Suite 800, Dallas, Texas 75243.
- Defendant Kevin Devoto is (“Devoto”) is an owner of ABC Debt Relief, Ltd. Co. During all material times, Devoto was a supervisor of Plaintiff actively involved in the management of ABC. Service of process may be had on Kevin Devoto at 12655 N. Central Expressway, Suite 800, Dallas, Texas 75243.
- On or about January 3, 2010, Plaintiff became employed by ABC. Plaintiff’s job title was Senior Debt Consultant.
- During Plaintiff’s employment with ABC, one of ABC’s other Senior Debt Consultants, Robert McLain, referred to one of ABC’s female employees, Melissa Laroach, as a “slut” and a “whore.” Laroach heard McLain do so and began crying. Plaintiff told McLain to stop doing so. McLain responded to Plaintiff, “You must be a faggot.” McLain then sent an email to ABC’s other employees with a “photo shopped” photograph attached which suggested that Plaintiff was holding a penis-shaped ice cream cone. McLain also told ABC’s other employees that Plaintiff drank “penis coladas.” Previously, McLain had distributed in the office a photograph of Mel Gibson and told others there that Plaintiff was in love with Gibson.
- Plaintiff complained to ABC about McLain’s actions. Specifically, Plaintiff complained to Cameron Knox (Sales Manager), Devoto, and Rick Longo (Chief Financial Officer). After Plaintiff did so, ABC took away his position as a “team leader” and provided him with fewer leads than he had previously received. These actions resulted in Plaintiff losing income. ABC justified these actions based upon Plaintiff’s allegedly poor performance, but Plaintiff’s performance was better than that of other employees who were not subjected to these adverse employment actions.
- On July 1, 2010, Plaintiff threatened ABC with legal action based upon the harassment, discrimination, and retaliation outlined above. At the same time, Plaintiff threatened ABC with legal action for violating the FLSA by failing to pay him overtime to which he was entitled.
- During Plaintiff’s employment with ABC, Plaintiff routinely worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Defendants knew that Plaintiff was doing so and directed him to do so. Defendants did not pay Plaintiff at a rate of at least time-and-a-half for all hours in excess of 40 per week that Plaintiff worked.
- ABC paid Plaintiff on a commission-only basis. ABC did not classify Plaintiff as an “exempt” employee, and Plaintiff’s duties did not make him exempt under the FLSA.
- Shortly after Plaintiff threatened ABC with legal action, ABC placed Plaintiff on unpaid administrative leave. Since that date, Plaintiff has not been allowed to perform any work for ABC. Plaintiff has been constructively terminated.
- Plaintiff is 50 years old. At all times, Plaintiff has been qualified to be a Senior Debt Consultant.
- Younger, similarly-situated employees of ABC whose performance has not been as good as Plaintiff’s performance have not (a) had their title removed, (b) had leads taken from them, or (c) been placed on unpaid administrative leave.
- Similarly-situated employees of ABC who did not complain of unlawful harassment and discrimination and whose performance has not been as good as Plaintiff’s performance have not (a) had their title removed, (b) had leads taken from them, or (c) been placed on unpaid administrative leave.
- All of the adverse employment decisions involving Plaintiff, and the decision not to pay him overtime, were made in full or in part by Devoto and Regner.
- As a result of Defendants’ wrongful conduct, Plaintiff has suffered emotional distress.
- Defendants’ actions against Plaintiff were intentional, willful and malicious.
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Update February 4, 2013
In a similar situation the court issued an opinion in Brian PARKER, Michael Frank, Mark Dailey,
and Jeremy Cozart, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v.
ABC DEBT RELIEF, LTD. CO., the Debt Answer, LLC, Lloyd Ward, P.C. d/ b/a Lloyd Ward & Associates, Lloyd Regner, and Lloyd ward, Defendants.
You can read that full court opinion here.