Monday, June 04, 2007

Local Collection Agency Accused of Stealing Money

Office Manager Jean Wilkes prepares this letter to send out to hundreds of patients of local Ophthalmologist Dr. Emanuel Wilkes.

It says not to forward any more payments to Cobra Collection Agency.

Wilkes and Billing Clerk Debra Pearce say the agency has indeed been collecting funds from patients, but they haven't seen any of it in months.

"If they're collecting them from the patients, every month at the end of each month, they're supposed to forward the percentage to us after their percentage is taken out," says Pearce.
Carrie Ryan, a bookkeeper for the property management division of Kennon and Parker has a similar story.

"The tenants would call us and say they'd satisfied their debt and wanted to know if they could rent from us again and I said well we don't have a record of you paying off the collection agency and they provided us with a receipt that they had paid them off," says Ryan.

We catch up with Cobra Collection Agency Owner Janice Ledden.

She tells us her firm has collected that money, but it's gone.

Ledden says she's the victim of embezzlement, but plans to repay all of the money.

Meanwhile, another businessman who claims he was scammed by Cobra has started a web page to alert and educate other businesses.

"And I was thinking, wow, if she can't make good on with me and I'm a pretty assertive person as well, the people who are passive and don't know as much about this they're being walked on and I just felt that was really wrong," says Matthew Chan of Intrepid Management.

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