- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Five Charlotte residents and a Concord man have plea deals to charges that they collected $6 million from people around the country by strong-arming debtors to pay.

Federal prosecutors say in court documents filed Wednesday that all six were involved in a scheme that threatened debtors with lawsuits and criminal charges and harassed their family and friends.

Prosecutors allege several interconnected debt collection companies owned by 35-year-old Cedric Clark of Concord bought lists of debtors and then bullied people to pay, sometimes for money they didn’t really owe. The lists were sold repeatedly, so several collection groups were calling to collect the same purported debt.

Prosecutors say the callers representing Capital Solutions Agency, Berkeley Hughes and Associates and Vortex Group defrauded thousands of people between late 2011 and May 2015.

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