The head of an allegedly unlawful debt collection operation is banned from that business under a court order obtained by the Federal Trade Commission.

The court granted the FTC's request for summary judgment on all counts against Gail Daniels and The Primary Group Inc., charged in an action filed by the agency in May 2015. The court found that defendants had deceived consumers via text messages, emails and phone calls that falsely threatened consumers with arrest or lawsuits if they did not make debt collection payments.

The final order from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia bans the defendants from debt collection activities and prohibits them from misrepresenting material facts about financial-related products and services. 

It also bars them from profiting from consumers' personal information and failing to dispose of it properly, and imposes a judgment of $980,000, which represents the amount of money the defendants collected from the scheme.

The court in May 2015 had halted the scheme and frozen the defendants' assets pending litigation. The FTC's complaint against the Primary Group alleged that the defendants sent consumers a series of text messages, typically not disclosing that the company is a debt collector.  The defendants threatened consumers with false statements such as “I’m a process server with Primary Solutions, appointed to serve you papers for case [eight-digit number]. . .” and “Please have proper ID and a witness present who can provide a signature. If there’s no reply I’ll have to bring the document to your employer.”


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