For Immediate Release: June 11, 2009
Minnesota Department of Commerce Summarily Suspends License Of International Collection Services--Bloomington collection agency charged with misappropriating client funds
(St. Paul, MN) -The Minnesota Department of Commerce suspended the collection agency license of International Collection Services (ICS) of Bloomington, MN, charging the company with using customer funds to conduct the agency's business instead of remitting the money to their clients within thirty days of collection as required by Minnesota law.
Bloomington Police Department officers and Department of Commerce investigators executed a search warrant on Tuesday, June 9 and recovered financial records and computers from the company and its owner, Tim Peters. The search warrant was necessary because Peters refused to grant access to the company's records, another violation of Minnesota law.
The department received complaints from two out-of-state clients of ICS alleging they had not received money owed to them after ICS had collected on accounts due. Based on the complaints, investigators conducted an audit of the company's trust accounts and allege that ICS has misappropriated over $125,000 from clients within the past three years.
The company allegedly used that money to pay for operating expenses and to pay off Tim Peter's personal credit card bills.
"Consumers have an expectation that when a collection agency collects your money to pay a bill, they actually pay the creditor on your behalf, not spend the money on their own bills," said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Glenn Wilson. "When a breech of trust like this occurs, we suspend the license and shut down the agency."
The Department's order for summary suspension of International Collection Services' license will be considered at a hearing in front of Administrative Law Judge Eric L. Lipman on June 29, 2009 at 9:30 am in St. Paul.
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