A former federal bankruptcy lawyer and a bankruptcy attorney in Florida have pleaded guilty to charges that they helped a woman who owed more than $1 million in debt settle her case by using the company where she worked as a debt collector to collect on her debts.
The Federal Trade Commission says that Paul T. Hulbert and Scott H. St. Clair, both of Tampa, Florida, agreed to pay $3.9 million in penalties to settle a complaint filed last year.
The woman, who has not been identified, was trying to settle debts at a Tampa-area bank after she went bankrupt and owed more money than she had.
The case began when the woman owed about $1.4 million in debts, according to court records.
In addition to helping her settle those debts, the couple also helped her pay for the purchase of an apartment in the Tampa area, which they were able to use to collect the debts on her behalf, according a press release from the FTC.
The FTC said the couple did this in order to collect payments on the woman’s credit cards, which she used to buy groceries and other items.
It said the company that Hulbergs worked for paid $3,931 for the services of a debt buyer.
St Clair is also a former federal judge.
He pleaded guilty in August to one count of wire fraud, a felony, and one count each of wire and identity theft.
He also agreed to forfeit his Florida driver’s license, which was suspended in January after he was charged with drug trafficking, according the FTC release.
The bank in which the woman worked is not named in the indictment, but a federal judge in Florida said that HULBERTS and StCLAIR had helped her collect on the debt, according, according Fox News.
StCLIRTS is an attorney in Tampa, according of his LinkedIn profile.
StCLAIRTS previously worked as an attorney for a Florida law firm that represented the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according his profile.
He was an associate in the Florida Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.