North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced that Gordon Scott Engle, 57, of 16424 Green Dolphin Lane, Cornelius, has pleaded guilty to five counts of felony debt collecting without a license.
Mecklenburg County Superior Court Judge Casey Viser gave Engle a five-to-15-month suspended sentence with two years of supervised probation. Engle was also fined $5,000 and prohibited from applying for a debt collection license for three years. He will also be required to complete 100 hours of community service work.
“I want to thank all of the various divisions at the Department of Insurance who worked with our special agents to investigate this case,” Commissioner Causey said. “I also want to thank all the federal and state agencies, including the Attorney General’s office and district attorneys in 17 counties for their cooperation in bringing about justice for the victims of this case.”
The Department of Insurance began investigating Eagle and his debt collection company, Turtle Creek, after receiving a referral from the N.C. Attorney General’s office. The Agent Services Division and Criminal Investigations Division examined the company, which had purchased debt accounts from primarily rent-to-owned businesses.
Special agents worked with district attorneys’ offices in 17 counties – Alexander, Anson, Burke, Cumberland, Davie, Guilford, Iredell, Lee, Mecklenburg, Moore, Richmond, Rowan, Stanley, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin – to dismiss criminal summonses Engle had taken out charging 81 North Carolinians with failure to return rental equipment charges.
To report suspected fraud or other white-collar crime, contact the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.gov.
(Please click here to download a .jpg file of Gordon Scott Engle.)