FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – Three attorneys from an Oakland County law firm are accused of collecting money from lawsuit defendants without their knowledge.
Investigators say 70-year-old Marc Fishman, 32-year-old Ryan Fishman and 33-year-old Alexandra Ichim were conducting a criminal enterprise.
Investigators say they filed civil lawsuits on behalf of their clients in Genesee County. However, they allegedly did not properly notify defendants in about 30 cases.
All three attorneys from the Fishman Group allegedly claimed court documents in debt collection lawsuits were served at the defendants’ last known addresses.
That led allowed the plaintiffs — and the three accused attorneys — to collect financial awards from the defendants’ bank accounts. They allegedly claimed over $1 million from at least 1,000 people.
Document servers tried to serve the papers and could not in many cases.
The attorneys allegedly forged court documents showing that the papers had been served.
“These lawyers put a dagger in the heart of due process and victimized some of the most vulnerable residents in our state,” said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said many of the victims in the alleged scheme may not know or understand what happened. The courts would garnish wages, tax returns, stimulus checks and bank accounts from defendants after the default judgments were entered.
Leyton said the charges issued in Genesee County only date back to 2019, but the scheme may have gone back further.