It’s one thing for the officialdom to sit back and allow financial services industry chicanery to go un or inadequately punished, quite another to get in bed with them to perpetrate a scam.
The New York Times reports on how over 300 local district attorneys are participating in and profiting from what amounts to a shakedown operation. Let’s say you’ve bounced a check. The debt collectors send letters using the local district attorney’s letterhead, threatening jail time unless you not only pay what is allegedly owed but also an additional fee, typically $150 to $200, to take a “financial accountability” course.
Mind you, the DA has not prosecuted the case, nor even verified that the debt is valid. But the DA’s office winds up getting a cut of the fee from the class that the funds-impaired checkwriter was conned into taking. The debt collectors and the DA call these arrangements “partnerships,” presumably in the Ambrose Bierce sense:
When two thieves have their hands so deeply plunged into each other’s pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third party.