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Rich Hill credit repair service charged with scamming clients

TimesLedger Newspapers

The owner of a Richmond Hill credit repair company has been charged with bilking customers out of thousands of dollars, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced last week.

According to the criminal charges, B.J. Cardova, of Valley Stream, L.I., allegedly promised at least four customers he would repair their credit scores, but instead scammed them out of a total of $7,700 between 2008 and 2010, Brown said.

Cardova, who owns Financial Institution Recovery Services, at 92-11 102nd St., told his customers that for a cash fee, ranging from $700 to $3,000, he would repair their damaged credit, but instead he allegedly provided them with a forged name-change decree from Georgia, and then instructed them to get a new New York state driver’s license using the false identities, according to the DA.

When investigators searched Cardova’s office and home, they allegedly found Georgia name-change and divorce decrees, rubber stamps with the names of a judge and clerk from the Peach State and a raised seal of Fulton County Superior Court, Brown said.

“The defendant is accused of ‘gaming the system’ to make money for himself by taking advantage of credit-impaired borrowers eager to climb out from under mounting debt,” the DA said. “Instead of throwing them a lifeline, in reality he is alleged to have exposed businesses to bad debtors who were financially drowning and assisted his customers in burying themselves deeper in debt.”

Brown further said anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Cardova’s alleged scheme should contact his Economic Crimes Bureau at 718-286-7013.

Cardova faces up to seven years if convicted on charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and scheme to defraud, Brown said.

The Valley Stream man was ordered held on $40,000 bail and his next scheduled court appearance is May 15.

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly praised the inter-agency collaboration that led to Cardova’s arrest.

“Repairing bad credit requires more than a name change. The suspect’s idea of a quick fix solution for a person with bad credit was to use forged documents to create a debt-free new identity,” he said. “I commend the NYPD’s Document Fraud Squad, the New York state DMV and the Queens DA’s office for shutting down this scheme.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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