A Buffalo debt collector has been barred from the industry to settle allegations from the state and federal officials that he misled consumers about how much money they owed and then used illegal tactics to collect it.
Robert Heidenreich, who controls six debt collection firms, agreed to pay $30,000 to the Federal Trade Commission as part of the settlement. The rest of the $1.7 million judgement against Heidenreich was suspended. Any funds collected as part of the settlement will go toward customer restitution.
Heidenreich, who uses the alias "Bobby Rich," was sued in November 2018 by the state Attorney General's Office and the FTC. The settlement also alleged that collectors employed by Heidenreich pretended to be law enforcement personnel, attorneys, and process servers to collect on inflated debts, falsely threatening those consumers with arrest and other legal action.
The settlement covers Heidenreich and six corporations he controls: Campbell Capital LLC; Kahl, Heidenreich, and Nemmer, LLC; Urban, Heidenreich, Melendez, and Associates, LLC; J & V Receivables, LLC; Rich Financial, LLC; and BCH & Associates Ltd.