In what seems to be happening more often, the Justice Department announced in December that bank, mail, and wire fraud charges had been brought against a debt collection agency owner by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis. This particular agency has had a number of legal troubles for years.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Kehmall Jokhoo was charged with 10 counts of aggravated identity theft, 11 counts of bank fraud, 3 counts of wire fraud, and 9 counts of mail fraud. There is also one count of false impersonation stemming from the alleged impersonation of a U.S. employee.
According to the complaint, Jokhoo allegedly concocted a scheme that involved fraudulently obtaining money from financial institutions and individuals.
From 2002 until 2008, Jokhoo was registered as a Minnesota debt collector. He was the founder, owner, and the only employee of First Financial Services Inc. This Minnesota collection agency license was held until November 2009, which the Minnesota Department of Commerce revoked.
In 2011, Minnesota would fine the company and Jokhoo $100,000 for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. After the debt collection license was revoked, Jokhoo allegedly started operating a scam debt collection agency.
The indictment states that Jokhoo utilized a number of debt collector resources to obtain information about individuals. This information included their social security numbers, birthdays, financial information, and much more. The information was then used to communicate with the individuals and with financial institutions. Jokhoo would tell the individuals that they owed him a past due debt. He would allegedly make threats, call at strange hours of the day, and would even contact the employers and families of the victims in order to secure payments. The indictment also says that Jokhoo would impersonate the victims when communicating with their financial institutions. When doing this, he would request that the institution issue a check to First Financial. In one instance, he allegedly used the identity of another individual to fill out an online application with a peer-to-peer lending company to try and obtain money from investors.
If Jokhoo is convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison for each count of bank, mail, and wire fraud. Furthermore, he faces up to two years in prison for the identity theft charges and up to three years for falsely impersonating an employee of the United States.