A U.S. district court halted a Buffalo, N.Y. area collection operation charged with violating the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by misrepresenting that they were with the government, falsely accusing consumers of committing check fraud and then threatening consumers with arrest.

A lawsuit charged two individuals, Mark Briandi and William Moses, and 13 interrelated companies in connection with the case. Operating the scheme since at least May 2010, the defendants portrayed themselves as representatives of the government by using company names that suggested a government affiliation or national presence - such as Federal Recoveries LLC, Federal Check Processing Inc. and Nationwide Check Processing. 

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