The good news? A West Virginia woman, Diana Mey (and put a pin in that; more on her in a minute), has won $10 million in damages from a scam (i.e., not legitimate; probably not licensed — more on that in a minute, too; incredibly non-professional) collection agency.
The bad news (for Mey at any rate)? It’s pretty likely that she won’t see a dime of the $10 million.
The unsettling news? No one has a handle on where this scam collection agency is. It might be a company named Global AG LLC; at any rate, an attorney representing an entity called Global AG LLC responded to the initial lawsuit by asking for an extension. However, that’s the entirety of the involvement of Global AG LLC.
If you do a Google search on that company, you’ll find several agriculture-related sites. There’s one in Emmetsburg, Iowa; there’s also one in Germantown, Tennessee, that may or may not be related. It seems unlikely that companies engaging in agriculture commodities trading would have a weird, shadow-arm that engages in illegal debt collection practices. As of press time, the company out of Germantown, Tennessee, verified that it was not involved in the collection or ARM industry; “We exclusively trade in agricultural commodities,” spokesman Gregory Firtik said. We have not heard back from the company in Emmetsburg, Iowa.
There is a site for RFA, Reliant Financial Associates, with the domain reliantfinancialassociates.com. However, that site is a placeholder page with information about scams committed under the name Reliant Financial Associates. And we’re even talking about RFA right now because, according to this story running in the West Virginia newspaper Wheeling News-Register Intelligencer, there’s a connection between whatever Global AG LLC is and RFA.
So, got it? Quick recap before we jump back into the case: A West Virginia woman named Diana Mey has won a $10 million judgment against a scam collection agency that no one can find.
Mey retrieved a voice mail message on 27 May 2010 from a woman claiming that Mey’s son owed money on some credit card debt. Mey’s son was unaware of any credit card debt, and, when he spoke with the same agency, also did not recognize the name of the credit card company to whom he owed the money. When Mey’s son checked his credit report, he saw that it had been accessed by the aforementioned RFA, headquartered in Santa Ana, California.
Mey sent a letter to the company disputing the debt and asked that she be taken off the their call roster. Mey is an old hat at this kind of communication; she’s something of a professional plaintiff, as one soon learns after visiting her website, www.dianamey.com. However, the calls didn’t stop, they simply changed identity.
Mey reported that she started receiving calls on 13 June 2010 that appeared to be from the Ohio County sheriff’s office. Only, as it turned out, it wasn’t really the Ohio County sheriff’s office. For one thing, when Mey would call the sheriff’s office, they had no record of calling her in the first place. For the other thing: super vulgar language. As the reporter of the Intelligencer says in a separate blog piece, “Once Mey was on the phone, the caller began using what I can only describe as sick language. I don’t think you want the details. They’d make you want to punch someone in the nose.”
Harsh words, my friends. Harsh. Words.
While Mey’s attorney, Pat Cassidy, is happy with the judgment handed down by Circuit Judge Martin Gaughan, she’s advising her client not to hold her breath: “It really makes it appear likely that this corporation is some sort of shell game and that is unlikely that the plaintiff will collect any judgment that the court may enter today,” she told the Intelligencer.