CFPB and New York Attorney General file suit to seize hidden assets from operator of shuttered debt collection scheme
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and New York Attorney General Letitia James today filed a complaint in federal court to seize a $1.6 million home, the ownership of which the complaint alleges was fraudulently transferred by the operator of a massive and now-defunct debt-collection scheme. Douglas MacKinnon transferred ownership of his home to his wife and daughter for the sum of $1 shortly after learning of a federal and state investigation into his companies Northern Resolution Group LLC and Enhanced Acquisitions LLC. The complaint asks the court to declare the transfer void and order the seizure and sale of the property to partially repay MacKinnon’s outstanding debt to the federal and state governments for his illegal conduct.
“Douglas MacKinnon operated a brazen scheme, fraudulently inflating consumers’ debts, and he was equally brazen in trying to fraudulently conceal his own assets,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “Today’s action shows that attempts to defraud the federal government and evade the consequences of breaking the law will not succeed. I thank Attorney General James for her partnership in shutting down this scheme and in bringing MacKinnon to account.”
“Forcing consumers to pay more than they owe and falsely issuing threats to have consumers arrested for not complying with these predatory debt-collection practices is shameful,” said Attorney General James. “To evade the effects of the settlement by trying to illegally transfer assets demonstrates a complete disregard for the authority of the government to bring violators of the law to justice. Not a single dime has been paid to put money back into the pockets of New York’s consumers. I thank the CFPB for their partnership to recover these funds.”
In 2019, the CFPB and New York Attorney General reached a settlement with Douglas MacKinnon, Northern Resolution Group, LLC, Enhanced Acquisitions, LLC, Delray Capital, LLC, and Mark Gray. The CFPB had sued MacKinnon and Gray and their companies for harassing, threatening, and deceiving millions of consumers across the nation into paying inflated debts or amounts they did not owe. The companies routinely added $200 to each debt they purchased and attempted to collect, used spoofing technology to make it appear as though they were calling from government agencies, and sent threatening messages to consumers to frighten them into paying. MacKinnon and his companies were permanently banned from the debt collection industry and ordered to pay $60 million in consumer redress and penalties. Despite the court’s order, MacKinnon has not made any payments toward satisfying the judgment against him, and neither he nor his family members have cooperated in the Bureau’s and New York’s efforts to obtain relevant financial information.