Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the filing of …
Updated: Tuesday, 09 Feb 2010, 2:04 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 23 Jun 2009, 8:24 PM EDT
CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Tobias Boyland was arrested during a raid at his home on Harvard Place, and four other places of business, including an office in Cheektowaga.
The attorney general says the local debt collector was playing hardball and abusing consumers.
As investigators from the Attorney General's Office were shutting down Boyland's debt collection business, they discovered the ex-convict turned entrepreneur was armed.
Attorney General Deputy Chief of Staff Mitra Hormozi said, "They found a loaded semi-automatic .38 pistol on Mr. Boyland's person, as well as five other weapons."
Boyland is accused of using illegal, strong arm tactics to make consumers pay up on their debts. At times, his callers would pose as police, threatening to have debtors arrested because they had fallen behind on their payments.
Here is an example. "Make sure you have somewhere for your kids to go. Lock up your house. Get some clean clothes because you're not coming home any time soon."
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said, "It is illegal to impersonate a police officer, the threats to people, but these were tactics."
And Cuomo says Boyland's collection tactics were so unnerving, some consumers paid up, just to get the callers off their backs.
Tobias Boyland is probably best known for the nickname he adopted, Bags of Money, after he was released from prison, and promoted himself as a role model for young people.
Last March, Boyland was explaining an east side billboard promoting a book he had authored, and last Thanksgiving he was giving away turkeys, "It feels great. That's the bottom line. And it is very encouraging to the spirit to keep yourself on track." (November 21, 2008)
Cuomo said, "Just because you are behind on your credit card, does not mean that you forfeit all legal rights, and these tactics are meant to extort payment from people."
A state judge granted the attorney general's request to shut down Tobias Boyland's nine collection businesses, temporarily, and froze his bank accounts.
Since Boyland is a convicted felon, he could face stiff penalties on the weapons charges, and Tuesday night is being held on $250,000 dollars bail.