December 7, 2006
Plattsburg, Mo. — A northwest Missouri man who promised consumers with bad credit histories that he could get them loans but then failed to do so after receiving advance payment is prohibited from ever operating such a business in the future under a consent judgment and permanent injunction obtained by Attorney General Jay Nixon. Greg Atherton of Trimble must also pay $957 in restitution and costs in the case. On October 12, the Attorney General sued Atherton, who did business as American Credit Finders, in Clinton County Circuit Court.
Nixon says Atherton worked as a loan broker who claimed that, in exchange for an advance fee, he could secure loans for consumers who possessed either bad or no credit history. Atherton solicited most of his business through his Web site, www.americancreditfinders.com. Nixon alleges that when consumers completed an online application, the defendant would contact them and tell them they were pre-approved for a loan and, in exchange for an advance fee, he would arrange to get the loan proceeds for the consumers. After the consumers paid the defendant, they did not receive the loans and could not contact Atherton to discuss the status of their loan applications because his phone was disconnected.
The Attorney General's Office was contacted by four out-of-state victims who paid the defendant a total of $657.14 for loan services but did not receive loans as promised. Some consumers were promised refunds of their advance fees, but never received them.
"We're pleased that this court order will prevent Mr. Atherton from taking advantage of other consumers in the future who find themselves in a desperate situation due to credit problems," Nixon said.
According to the judgment, Atherton is now prohibited from owning, operating or working for any business that provides loan broker services in the state of Missouri. The defendant is also ordered to pay $657.14 in restitution and $300 to the state to cover the attorney's fees and costs in investigating the case.