Trials & Litigation

FTC sues 2 law firms over claimed mortgage-rescue scheme that cost clients $15M in 2014

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House with dollar sign on it

The Federal Trade Commission has sued two Southern California law firms, seeking to freeze their assets and appoint a receiver.

It says Brookstone Law and Advantis Law raked in $15 million in 2014 by charging clients upfront fees for work such as “legal analysis” and promises of mass joinder in litigation against lenders that offers them little or no benefit, reports Courthouse News.

Individuals named as defendants in the case include Damian Kutzner, who played a leading role in both firms but is not an attorney; attorney Vito Torchia Jr., who was declared ineligible to practice in California in 2014; and attorney Jonathan Tarkowski, who was admitted to the California bar in 2014.

Filed May 31 in federal court in Santa Ana, California, the suit also seeks injunctive relief; recission of contracts; disgorgement of assets; and penalties.

The law firms did not immediately respond to emails from Courthouse News seeking comment on Thursday.

See also: “Mortgage-Rescue Meltdown: Calif. Probes 400 Lawyers, Fields 30 Complaints Daily” “Law Firm Seized; 3 Firms, 4 Lawyers, 14 Others Sued re Claimed Client Fraud in Bank Litigation”

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