Insurance Commissioner Causey announces arrest of unlicensed debt collector

RALEIGH

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of a Cornelius man who operated a debt collection business without being licensed in the state.

Gordon Scott Engle, 56, of 16424 Green Dolphin Lane, Cornelius, was charged with 81 felony counts of failing to secure a permit from the Commissioner of Insurance.  The N.C. Department of Insurance regulates and licenses debt collection businesses in North Carolina.

Engle operated Turtle Creek Assets and is charged in 17 counties – Alexander, Anson, Burke, Cumberland, Davie, Guilford, Iredell, Lee, Mecklenburg, Moore, Richmond, Rowan, Stanley, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin.  Most of the charges are in Mecklenburg (39) and Cumberland (eight) counties.

The case was referred to the Criminal Investigations Division by the N.C. Attorney General’s office.  Special Agents worked with local, federal and state agencies in the investigation.

Engle purchased the debt accounts from primarily rent-to-own businesses, and took out false criminal summonses, charging 81 North Carolinians with failure to return rental equipment charges.

Special Agents notified and coordinated with district attorneys across the state, advising them of these fabricated criminal summonses, resulting in the charges against the victims being dismissed.

“Most of the victims in this case were North Carolina citizens who were struggling financially,”  Commissioner Causey said.  “I want to thank our Special Agents, along with other agencies, for their tireless efforts in helping these citizens seek justice."

To report suspected fraud or other white-collar crime, contact the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.  Callers may remain anonymous.  Information is also available at www.ncdoi.gov.

(Please click here to download a .jpg file of Gordon Scott Engle.)

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