CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A man pleaded guilty to federal charges for his role in a fraudulent debt collection scheme operating out of Mecklenburg County.
Ronald Shane Hough, 50, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler and admitted he was a collections manager for Direct Processing LLC (Direct Processing), a fraudulent debt collection company.
According to documents filed in connection with the guilty plea, while working there, Hough and others defrauded victims by using fraudulent misrepresentations and threatening, abusive tactics to induce victims to pay money they purportedly owed.
The fraudulent tactics included using fictitious company names in communications with victims and falsely representing that there was pending litigation or charges against victims.
The filed criminal bill of information states that, between Jan. 2013 and July 2014, Hough and others at Direct Processing defrauded thousands of individuals throughout the United States of between $550,000 and $1,000,000.
Hough pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The maximum prison term for the charge is five years. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
The FBI led the investigation.