A Lynbrook businessman who ran a "sewer service" legal process scam, throwing away lawsuit documents instead of delivering them to debtors, pleaded guilty Friday to a fraud charge, state prosecutors said.
American Legal Process owner William Singler entered a plea in Nassau Supreme Court to one felony count of scheming to defraud.
Singler admitted that he knew the process servers who worked for him failed to properly serve the court papers on defendants named in the lawsuits. In one case a Singler employee claimed to have served papers in Brooklyn at 8:19 a.m., then served a different lawsuit 400 miles away in upstate New York.
Singler also admitted that he swore false affidavits of service stating that the court papers had indeed been served.
Singler did not respond yesterday to a message left on his voice mail, asking for comment.
Due to his fraudulent conduct many debtors defaulted and had to pay judgments without the chance to respond or defend themselves in court, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement.
"Singler broke the law and then lied to cover it up," Cuomo said in the statement.
"It is not a victimless crime, but one that impacted lives and caused financial hardship for thousands of New Yorkers. Many had their bank accounts frozen, their wages garnished, and liens put on their homes, all because they were denied their day in court."
Singler is expected to be sentenced March 24 by Judge Alan L. Honorof.
Singler's company was primarily hired by lawyers representing plaintiffs in debt collection lawsuits to serve court papers on defendants.
Separately, a lawsuit filed by Cuomo against Singler's business seeks damages, penalties and injunctive relief.