Former Debt Collector Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison

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A man who once ran what seemed to be a legitimate debt collection operation before resorting to overtly criminal behavior was sentenced Wednesday to 175 months in federal prison for stealing client money, identity theft, and a ton of other federal financial fraud crimes.

In late 2012, Khemall Jokhoo was charged with 11 counts of bank fraud, nine counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of false impersonation of an officer or employee of the United States. A jury found him guilty of the charges in November 2013.

Jokhoo executed a scheme to fraudulently obtain money from individuals and financial institutions using personal information he obtained through his debt collection agency.

From February 2002 until June 30, 2009, Jokhoo was legally registered as a debt collector with the State of Minnesota as the founder, owner, and sole employee of First Financial Services, Inc., which also held a Minnesota collection agency license until November 3, 2009, when it was revoked by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Two years later, the state fined Jokhoo and the company $100,000 for various violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and operating without a license. At some point after his licenses were revoked, he started running a scam rogue debt collection agency.

As a debt collector, Jokhoo had access to sensitive credit information, including social security numbers, bank account information, dates of birth, addresses, and other identifying information of the victims of his scheme. He used this information to harass and intimidate victims and to demand payment to him for purported debts. When he could not convince victims to pay him, Jokhoo impersonated victims, using their bank account and other identifying information to take over and steal directly from their accounts.

In addition to the 175 months in prison, Jokhoo will serve five years of supervised release and pay more than $250,000 in restitution.

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  • avatar John Smith says:

    This is welcomed news! We need to clear the bottom feeders from our industry. Unfortunately, this matter will reflect on ALL agencies because of the myopic nature of our government officials.

    The CFPB is a classic example of regulators run amok due to their inexperience in our industry and desire to grow for growth’s sake (and financial considerations).

  • avatar domingo-torres says:

    I agree with John’s statement that we need to develop a system that will weed out scoundrels from our industry, and i emphasize we, because sadly as long as criminals continue to use our industry as for their own gains and criminal behavior the general public will continue to demand tougher regulations thus making CFPB Act necessary which unfortunately has the side affect of making it more difficult for the honest collection agent to make a living .

    As a professional debt collector for my entire career (over 22 years) i have seen many new regulations being added to the FDCPA much of them intended to protect us from people like the individual who is the subject of this story.

    Unfortunately, if the industry doesn’t find a way to police itself the government will continue to act in the name public safety (whether real or not).

    -Domingo Torres

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