U.S. prosecutors brought charges against Mission Settlement Agency and four individuals with connections to the business based upon work done by the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.)  The marks the first time that the CFPB has played a key role in a case that resulted in criminal charges.

Both Richard Cordray, head of the CFPB and Manhattan Attorney Preet Bharara who filed the charges, indicated that these are the first of several more charges that will be filed within the debt settlement industry. 

According to a story on Reuters.com, Mission Settlement said they would reduce credit card debts, but failed to do so.  Instead customers were hit with exorbitant fees, worsened credit scores and bankruptcy for a few.

The charges claim that the firm collected more than $2 million in fees, but paid $0 to creditors.

The four persons are charged with mail and wire fraud.