Local Businessman Accused of Fraud

February 25, 2008 7:51:53 PM PST
A Madera County man is facing criminal charges for what investigators say is an illegal way to collect old credit card debt.41-year old Jeff McCoon of Oakhurst will answer to charges in Orange County this summer.

Now, prosecutors in Northern California are also on his trail.

In an exclusive investigation, Action News has uncovered evidence McCoon has also done the same thing in Fresno.

This Valley businessman is facing 327 felony fraud and extortion counts in Southern California because of his business practices. He operates out of the foothills. I caught up with him to ask why he's continuing to collect money from homeowners, who have no clue what he's doing.

Peter Douet simply wanted to refinance his Northern home, when he stumbled upon a debt he never knew he had.

A 20 thousand dollar lien, filed by an outfit he'd never heard of "Pacific States Credit Company."

In a hurry to close escrow, Douet didn't ask questions and let the title company pay off the debt.

Peter Douet: "It could have been me getting a loan. I needed the money, I'm trying to get financed, you know I had a lot of things going on at the same time."

Jeff McCoon is the man behind "Pacific States Credit Company." He runs the business out of this office in Oakhurst.

He's very creative, court documents reveal how he operates, first buying old credit card debt for pennies on the dollar then finding unique ways to go after the money.

In some cases it means slapping people with lawsuits.

Wadene Williams: "They served papers on me at night. It was late in the night when the carrier did."

For more than three decades retired Air Force Employee Wadene Williams has lived in this house.

She feels fear played a part in her decision, to sign over a second mortgage deed of trust for an old MasterCard debt. She says Jeff McCoon convinced her to do it.

"Seems like a statement was made like, you know, you could lose your home if you don't."

McCoon was arrested by Madera County Sheriff's in 2005 on a warrant out of Orange County. He's facing criminal charges there for recording illegal liens against 74 people. Now an even bigger case may be about to break in Sacramento.

We tracked down McCoon to confront him about his business dealings.

"Mr. McMoon, mr. Mccoon. Do you know that its illegal filing these property liens on these people." They're not property liens." What's going on that you're doing. Why have you stopped doing it if it's not illegal?" I don't have any more accounts. No more accounts have been acquired. You've quit doing it or?? There's 60 different judges who've said what I have done is fine. So if you want to call me, I'll copy you on those judgments, excuse me."

A closer look at property records shows at least 113 Sacramento County homeowners have had liens put on their property by Jeff McCoon.

Jim Zander: "You can't put a lien on a credit card period, and I didn't know that or I wouldn't have been in this predicament."

Jim Zander is a disabled Vietnam Veteran who now understands it's against the law to lien property for credit card debt without a court order.

Unfortunately he found out after signing over a $14 thousand dollar second mortgage on his home.

"Sneaky, real sneaky, yup, real sneaky."

To date Jim Zander continues to pay Jeff McCoon $300 dollars a month on that deed of trust.

Because he's afraid to lose his hime.

"I'd like to see the guy go to prison."

Wadene Williams: "Well, that would be good, would I get any money back? Haha"

Action News has found three similar cases from the Fresno area in which Jeff McCoon has done the same sort of thing.

According to court transcripts, McCoon's attorney has claimed that since some of the old credit card debt was acquired for home improvement, that it is secured debt and therefore is illegal.

Sacramento County DA's will not talk unless and until they file a case.


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