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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Richard A. Brennan Jailed for Contempt
Brennan Ordered to Pay More Than $2.5 Million in Restitution

BALTIMORE, MD ( July 31, 2009) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Richard A. Brennan, a disbarred Maryland lawyer and owner of a debt settlement and debt management service, has been jailed for contempt of court for failing to comply with a settlement order obtained by the Consumer Protection Division. Circuit Court for Frederick County Judge G. Edward Dwyer, Jr., sentenced Brennan to six months in jail at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center or until the Court determines that he has purged his contempt. Judge Dwyer also ordered Brennan to pay the Consumer Protection Division restitution in the amount of $2,588,863.

“Richard Brennan has continued to operate in full violation of the law,” said Attorney General Gansler. “I am pleased that the Consumer Protection Division was unwavering in its pursuit of Brennan. He now can choose to comply with the Court Order or to stay in jail.”

In October 2007, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division settled its investigation of Brennan and his law firm, the Law Offices of Richard Brennan, LLC, concerning their debt settlement practices. The Division alleged that Brennan and his firm took money from debt ridden consumers promising to settle their debts but, instead of settling their debts, he spent consumers’ monies to support his own lavish lifestyle. The settlement with the Division required Brennan to return all of the money that he took from consumers, to pay $200,000 in penalties and costs, and to stop selling debt settlement services unless he posted a $50,000 performance bond with the Division.

Despite agreeing to the settlement, Brennan never paid the penalties, costs and restitution, and continued to illegally sell debt settlement services to consumers. As a result, the Attorney General sued Brennan in the Circuit Court for Frederick County and in January 2009, the Court entered a judgment against him and his law firm and ordered him to cease selling debt settlement services to consumers and to pay restitution to the Division. After Brennan ignored that Order and continued to sell debt settlement services, the Division commenced its contempt action.

Brennan may purge his contempt by providing the Division his bank records and, to the extent has the ability to do so, pay back the money that he has collected from consumers in violation of the Court’s Order.

Video from WBAL I-Team: http://www.wbaltv.com/video/21506188/index.html

   

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