In a situation that is one of the strangest I’ve seen in the debt relief world, two debt relief groups are going nose-to-nose with allegations and denials of raids and malfeasance. I first reported this story here but new information and supporting documentation has been submitted by Frank Linder, Esq. of FBL Associates.
UPDATE: See response from Evan Kagan, Esq. below information from Frank Linder, Esq.
Linder just sent me a statement that says:
I wanted to take an opportunity to explain and clarify some of the issues on your website regarding FBL Associates internal investigation and the Broward County Sheriffs Department recent police intervention on October 13, 2010. Enclosed please find a document from the Broward County Sheriffs Department indicating an incident at 555 SW 12th Avenue, Pompano Beach, Florida listing an investigation into allegedly 53 embezzlement fraud allegations. Please see Exhibit 1.
Evan Kagan posted a response on your website [here] indicating that my letter is incorrect and that the Law Offices of Evan Kagan were not raided by the police and that this was in fact a different pre-paid legal service. Therefore, I would like to provide a small sampling of just some of the documentation we have collected to indicate why my letter cites Evan Kagan and the Law Office of Evan Kagan.
These allegations were against multiple different companies and Evan Kagan, Esquire was only one of them. An investigation was initiated by my office with a simple letter to all clients informing them of the issues that were being raised and asking them to complete an investigation survey. Within the first week, we received over 1200 responses that included signed surveys and other communications. See FBL Associates consumer warning to all clients as Exhibit 2.
FBL Associates received signed surveys from customers indicating that they were either told by Evan Kagan, Esquire or some associate utilizing his name, that FBL Associates was closed. Clients informed us that they were promised from Evan Kagan or some other company associated with his name, 100% debt elimination. Please see a sample of some investigation surveys that have been redacted because they involve other questions regarding different open investigations as Exhibit 3.
[I am omitting the rest of the many included surveys. The initial ones above appear to be representative of the larger group supplied to me. You can see the source document at the end of this article for the entire documentation.]
Essentially there were two entities that were being allegedly connected to Evan Kagan, Esquire. First was Consumer Debt Advisors. Please see an email that was sent to a customer regarding a sales solicitation as Exhibit 4.
The other company was Consumer Debt Legal Group that is somehow allegedly connected. Please see email indicating that somehow these two companies allegedly have social security numbers, dates of birth and account information of FBL Associates clients.
What’s even more disturbing in this email was the indication that these companies were calling NoteWorld and pretending to be the customer to close Trust accounts. Please see email as Exhibit 5.
Because FBL Associates receives over 20,000 incoming telephone calls a month from FBL Associate clients, we are getting information verbally on a daily basis. Please see a customer verbal communication note that informed us that allegedly Defense Debt Lawyers pretended to be FBL Associates and charged the client $760 out of her account. See telephone log note as Exhibit 6.
Who Are These Legal Entities
First, I would like to talk about Consumer Debt Legal Group. When you go to their website and navigate to the “Contact Us”, it lists “Principle office; the office of Evan S. Kagan, P.A. 555 SW 12th Avenue, Suite 210A, Pompano Beach, Florida, 33069” with contact email information being [email protected] Please see screen shot of the website as Exhibit 7.
When you go to the State of Florida the electronic article of incorporation dated May 19, 2010 for the Law Office of Evan S. Kagan, P.A. indicate the principle address of 555 SW 12th Avenue, Suite 210A, Pompano Beach, FL 33069. Please see articles of incorporation as Exhibit 8.
In the alternative there is a different website and name “Consumer Debt Defense”. When you go to this website it states “You will be using the services of Evan Kagan. He is the president of the Law Offices of Evan S. Kagan, P.A.” Please see screen shot from the website as Exhibit 9.
When you look at the electronic article of incorporation for the State of Florida for Debt Defense Lawyers, PA dated March 15, 2010 it lists George Ackerman as a registered agent with an address of Boca Raton, Florida. See Exhibit 10.
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Unfortunately I cannot provide you with the documentation that was presented to the Broward County Sheriffs Office which includes affidavits, internet computer tracking, and other evidence from P&E Solutions. The evidence that I am citing in this letter is just a sample of what I was able to accumulate last minute for clarification purposes. When I informed the legal authorities that Evan Kagan was denying that the police came to his location this was to their surprise and I directed them to view his admission and statements to your website which I’m sure will be helpful. What is known is that the address listed on the Sheriffs Office document substantially matches the address listed by Evan S. Kagan on the above websites and his own articles of incorporation. People can draw their own conclusions and wait for the criminal investigation to evolve.
ESP Cooperation With Investigation
There was an email that was sent out by Safe Trust Financial indicating that they are cooperating with the FBL Associates investigation and any other state or federal authorities. THIS HAS BEEN MISINTERPRETED to mean that ESP is under investigation by federal authorities. First, this makes no sense. ESP is a software, not a company. P&E Solutions is the software company. If ESP was under investigation by federal authorities it would be P&E Solutions who would be under investigation by authorities. FBL Associates contacted P&E Solutions and they have no knowledge of such investigations. P&E Solutions has also reached out to every state attorney general office explaining the software and requesting comment.
The more interesting issue is NoteWorld. Note World is a national money transmitter (basically a national bank). They set up trust accounts which are controlled by the customers. FBL Associates has received information and evidence that allegedly individuals were pretending to be customer with proper identifying information and closing their accounts. Therefore, ESP had to cut off access to NoteWorld and they are actively investigating and taking responsible steps.
Thank you very much for your consideration in this matter.
Very Truly Yours,
Frank B. Linder, Esquire
Evan Kagan, Esq. Responds
I just saw Frank Lindner’s latest posting and its another misrepresentation of the truth. My law firm has not been located at that office for some time and the website screen shots are for an old website that was replaced with the correct address. FBL is losing clients on its own and does not need help from anyone else including me. If I am the danger to the public then lets do a quick survey on consumer note world accounts today with FBL. They have crafted quite a story why those accounts were frozen as if they are protecting people from my firm. No one at my law office has ever or would ever impersonate a client, nor do anything contrary to a client’s instruction. They and their partner companies are searching for a scapegoat but I suggest to wait and see how this plays out before jumping to conclusions.
Unfortunately, this town can be influenced with money for the short term to get a certain narrative out but the truth will prevail. The truth is that I don’t due debt settlement and that I defend consumers about to be sued or getting sued. If you find me any governmental organization that will put in writing that they do not want attorneys defending consumers in lawsuits against creditors I will gladly change my practice. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to live somewhere that says struggling consumers are not entitled to defense from banks that benefited from large bailouts while average Americans struggle.
FBL provides an email as evidence that my firm directed Note World to close accounts but the firm in that email is Debt Defense Lawyers. Nice try Frank but that is not my firm. Additionally, despite your survey invoking my name I am 100% positive that my firm never outbound telemarketed any individual at any time. I do not employ any salespeople and I do not engage in telemarketing. Also, I have never guaranteed to eliminate 100% of a debt or any result as I know that lawyers can not guarantee any result.
I offer this challenge to any reader, call my firm and ask to speak to a lawyer. You will be transferred to a lawyer because we are a real law firm. Now call FBL and do the same.; you will wait on hold if you are lucky and then reach a salesperson. I have tried myself. FBL even sunk so low as to call my clients today and tell them I was arrested and in jail. I have affidavits to that affect. I have never been arrested in my life and find these tactics deplorable. When consumers have called me about switching to my firm it is because they are dissatisfied with a settlement company or because they are being sued. When they ask about debt settlement companies I do not even say anything negative because I don’t have to. They know what they have with FBL and its predecessor companies. There is only one reason a company changes its name so many times.
Lastly, despite moving my office sometime ago, Sunbiz.org is about 3 weeks behind processing amendments to corporate documents. You can call them yourself and inquire about the backlog. My amendment should be reflected in short time.
It is unfortunate that we have to engage in such a silly public feud because it simply makes us all look bad, but since FBL already has a tarnished reputation they don’t care who they bring down with them.
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