The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau accused Borders & Borders PLC, a Kentucky law firm, of receiving illegal kickbacks from certain charges on real estate settlements.

The CFPB announced Thursday that it is suing the Louisville title settlement firm. The CFPB added that Borders & Borders and its three principles "received substantial fees" through the referral network they formed. The nine joint ventures "were not bona fide entities," as there were no physical offices or any contact information. Each of the ventures were run by an independent contractor who was an employee of the law firm.

"Today's action sends a clear message that companies cannot design business structures to hide illegal kickbacks," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray, in the release. "The CFPB will continue to pursue companies that seek to profit from convoluted arrangements that limit competition and hurt honest businesses."

"The companies performed no substantive title work, all of which was instead performed by the staff at Borders & Borders," the CFPB added.

For the full piece see "CFPB Accuses Title Settlement Firm of Illegal Kickbacks" (may require subscription).