CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Tobias Boyland was arrested during a raid at his home on HarvardPlace, and four other places of business, including an office inCheektowaga.
The attorney general says the local debt collector was playinghardball and abusing consumers.
As investigators from the Attorney General's Office wereshutting down Boyland's debt collection business, they discoveredthe ex-convict turned entrepreneur was armed.
Attorney General Deputy Chief of Staff Mitra Hormozi said, "Theyfound 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 makeconsumers pay up on their debts. At times, his callers would poseas police, threatening to have debtors arrested because they hadfallen behind on their payments.
Here is an example. "Make sure you have somewhere for your kidsto go. Lock up your house. Get some clean clothes because you'renot coming home any time soon."
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said, "It is illegal toimpersonate a police officer, the threats to people, but these weretactics."
And Cuomo says Boyland's collection tactics were so unnerving,some consumers paid up, just to get the callers off theirbacks.
Tobias Boyland is probably best known for the nickname headopted, Bags of Money, after he was released from prison, andpromoted himself as a role model for young people.
Last March, Boyland was explaining an east side billboardpromoting a book he had authored, and last Thanksgiving he wasgiving away turkeys, "It feels great. That's the bottom line. Andit 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 tacticsare meant to extort payment from people."
A state judge granted the attorney general's request to shutdown Tobias Boyland's nine collection businesses, temporarily, andfroze his bank accounts.
Since Boyland is a convicted felon, he could face stiffpenalties on the weapons charges, and Tuesday night is being heldon $250,000 dollars bail.
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