Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Collection Agencies Must Pay

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Collection Agencies Must Pay

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL PINKHAM, The Times-Union

Two Jacksonville collection agencies will pay more than $100,000 in restitution after settling charges of deceptive business practices, the Florida Attorney General's Office said Thursday.

Employees of Barrows, Manning & Associates and Ditore, Ruibal & Associates were accused of impersonating police to threaten debtors with criminal charges unless they made good on defaulted payments.

Under the settlement, the two companies will pay $101,000 in restitution and $25,000 in attorney fees. Barrows, Manning will have to record all future outgoing calls and will be shut down if more than five complaints are received in a year, the Attorney General's Office said. Ditore, Ruibal closed last year.

MAN POSSIBLE TRAIN VICTIM

Jacksonville police are investigating the death of a man who may have been hit by a train Wednesday night.

Homicide Sgt. Shannon Douberly said a boy walking to school Thursday morning discovered the body near the intersection of Moncrief Road and 45th Street.

"We have no indication there is foul play," Douberly said. "He has some injuries consistent with being struck by a train."

The man's identity was not immediately available.

Douberly said it is not believed the man is a local resident.

STORE BURGLAR TAKING CIGARETTES

Police are hoping images of a series of Jacksonville grocery store burglaries will lead to someone who may be responsible for half a dozen or more thefts.

Police Lt. David Coffman said the man is popping doors on the closed stores and stuffing garbage bags with cartons of cigarettes before taking off.

The string started April 6 and has included stores around Jacksonville and includes one in Neptune Beach, Coffman said.

Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to call First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. …

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