N.Y. process server charged in fraud case

April 14, 2009 at 12:38 PM

NEW YORK, April 14 (UPI) -- A New York company failed to provide notification to thousands of consumers facing debt-related lawsuits, causing them unknowingly to default, officials say.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in criminal charges filed Tuesday accuse American Legal Process of Long Island and Chief Executive William Singler of perpetrating a fraudulent business scheme in which process servers didn't do their jobs in alerting consumers they were being sued, thus denying them a chance to respond.

As a result, Cuomo said, thousands of judgments were allegedly obtained against unsuspecting New Yorkers, many of whom first learned they were being sued when they found their bank accounts frozen or their wages garnished. Prosecutors alleged that ALP covered up the fraud by falsifying sworn affidavits of service in state courts across New York.

Cuomo also said he would sue one of ALP's largest customers, the Forster & Garbus law firm, for allegedly using ALP to serve more than 28,000 summonses and complaints but failing to supervise the company.

"I am putting all law firms on notice that they are responsible for the conduct of the companies they use to serve complaints and other legal documents," Cuomo said.

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