Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Attorney General Announces Settlement with Schuylkill County Woman Accused of Misrepresenting Herself as Attorney

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced Tuesday a legal settlement with the company Christi L. Jones and Associates, Inc., and its president, Christi Jones. The settlement was filed by the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection and approved by court order.

Jones, of Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, allegedly represented herself as an attorney by advertising and offering to investigate, enforce and recover unpaid judgments.

Jones is not an attorney, nor does she employ any licensed attorneys. Her alleged actions are a violation of the Judicial Code, the Fair Credit Extensions Uniformity Act and the Consumer Protection Law.

As part of a request to recover an unpaid judgment, Jones allegedly mailed a court subpoena to the Port Authority of Pittsburgh to obtain the current employment status of a debtor. The subpoena stated that the requesting attorney was Christi L. Jones & Associates, and allegedly listed a miscellaneous attorney identification number. It was alleged that listing this misleading information gave the impression that Jones, or her business, was a licensed attorney.

The settlement, reached in the form of a consent agreement, prohibits Jones from investigating, enforcing and recovering unpaid judgments. Additionally, it prohibits Jones from advertising these services.

Jones has agreed to pay $14,000 in civil penalties and costs. If she or her company violates the settlement, they may be ordered to pay any suspended amount plus $5,000 for each additional violation. Since the filing of the consent agreement, Jones was married and changed her name last name to Beuchler.

The settlement was filed in the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas by Deputy Attorney General Nicole R. DiTomo of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Information posted from Attorney General Press Release