Two attorneys who expedited the sale of millions of dollars in settlements going to victims of lead paint poisoning, are now investigated by Maryland Office (Attorney General). They are suspected for the state Consumer Protection Act’s probable violation.
In a couple of pleadings filed this week in Montgomery County Circuit Court, the ruling classes asked College Park lawyer Anuj Sud and Derwood lawyer Charles Smith to reveal records that shows their contribution in the structured settlement buying industry. In general, authorities held they are attempting to decide whether Smith — who counseled dozens of poor people on suspicious transactions — had an inappropriate relationship with a purchasing company or its lawyer, Mr. Sud.
“Mr. Sud and Mr. Smith have debased the Consumer Protection Act. If, among other probable violations, they made dishonest statements, or conspired to misinform consumers in connection with either the solicitation of counselling services business for Mr. Smith, or the incentive of injured Marylanders for selling structured settlement payment rights to see funding entities.”
The petitions contain fresh inspection on an industry that has come under increasing weight. A story printed in The Washington Post in August exposed companies have bought millions of dollars in settlement payments. And they purchased it from the lead paint lawsuit victims for dimes on the dollar.
A report dedicated on one Chevy Chase Company, Access Funding, that did deals with lots of Baltimore residents who were extremely poor African American, and frequently cognitively impaired consequently of lead poisoning.
As a whole, rendering to the agency’s inquiry, the company bought payment streams that equaled $28,723,988 — and had a current day value of $21,426,399. But the whole conversation is for almost $6,817,000 only. “Like this, Access Funding entities took out, at a minimum, a sum of almost $15 million from poor and weak Marylanders from June 2013 to August 2015,” the pleading held. No less than half — “and perhaps considerably more than half” — of the company’s contracts involved Baltimore victims of lead paint harming.
Sud and Smith have engaged in a vital role in helping these deals since 2013. The men now struggle in court papers they don’t want to share all of the requested records with authorities as they say the Consumer Protection Act ignores attorney services.
Authorities are now attentive on responding more than a few questions: Did Access Funding pay Smith? What associations, if there’s any, did he have with any of Access Funding or Sud?
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Author: Terrence McCoy