By Edward Snook, Investigative Journalist
How can a citizen expect to have fair treatment by government if local attorneys get away with aiding in the alleged corruption of public agencies? I was asked this question by a resident of Idaho Falls, Idaho, who is currently being sued by a collection agency who was not licensed even though they engaged in collection efforts (a felony under Idaho law?) against him.
The US~Observer has begun an investigation into the dealings between the Idaho Department of Finance (IDF) and Value Recovery Group, L.P., which, according to one legal source, blatantly committed a felony in the summer of 2014 and then was given a “pass” by the IDF. So far there has been no consequences for Value Recovery Group because the IDF failed to investigate. This accusation alone creates “red flags” concerning integrity in the upper echelons of Idaho government!
Further, the law firm that helped Value Recovery Group, L.P. “illegally” collect this money may have allegedly committed the separate crime of either accessory to a felony or at least Misprision of a Felony (i.e., knowingly failing to report a crime). To date, neither the attorneys nor their client has been investigated for alleged crimes. In fact, although under the supposed scrutiny of an IDF pending “investigation,” Value Recovery Group, L.P. was given a newly issued license as a collection agency in the State of Idaho in September 2014, when their so-called investigation did not close until October. Hmmm, who is minding the store?
That means, the Department of Finance has licensed Value Recovery Group, L.P. so that it can allegedly break the law again – a condition that most citizens would think is unacceptable (i.e., licensing an alleged criminal that has allegedly broken the law because the government agency failed to complete its investigation is not what our government should be doing, is it?).
What the US~Observer wants to know is this: do the laws only apply to individual citizens, and will allegedly corrupt private entities be allowed to violate Idaho’s statutes? If the US~Observer’s investigation proves right, and the law was broken, then the corruption potentially goes all the way to the Office of the Governor of the Great State of Idaho. That is, ‘the buck stops there.’
Specifically, there was a complaint filed and an investigation was supposedly in progress against Value Recovery Group, L.P., an out of state entity, while it was applying for licensure as a collection agency under the State of Idaho Department of Finance in August 2014. While the complaint was pending, IDF approved Value Recovery Group, L.P. for licensure in September 2014, without properly investigating it for crimes it had already allegedly committed in Idaho.
Let’s see, does this sound right: the license was issued while a Complaint was open and the investigation missed the fact that Value Recovery Group, L.P. had already allegedly committed a felony in Idaho? Then, the IDF, after having issued a license to Value Recovery Group, L.P. in September 2014, closed its complaint file in October 2014, failing to address a very serious financial crime allegedly committed by Value Recovery Group, L.P. in July 2014; is that what is called a ‘cover up”?
Sources close to the US~Observer say that the only way the approval for licensure of Value Recovery Group, L.P. could have been given, before the Complaint was resolved, is if the agency-head appointed by Governor Butch Otter to be the ‘watch-dog’ over alleged financial criminals, Mr. Gavin Gee, the Director of the Department of Finance, gave his okay to the September 2014 approval.
According to one Observer source, “The closeness of the relationship between Gavin Gee and the attorneys for Value Recovery Group, L.P. has apparently been single handedly responsible for unmercifully evicting hundreds of homeowners from their residences, when in fact there was a government sponsored solution to allow the individuals to stay in their homes.” Also, the banks, which are considered “too big to fail” are receiving our tax dollars in the form of government bailout money on the back side, while foreclosing on innocent homeowners and making huge profits selling homes and suing the homeowner for unpaid balances called deficiencies, as is the case with the Idaho Falls man mentioned at the beginning of this article.
What is beginning to appear at first blush, is the operation of a Corporateocracy (or corporate run government) destroying individuals financially; and there is no accountability, even from the ‘Watch Dog’ agencies charged with that responsibility. In fact, if what allegedly happened last summer was a felony by Value Recovery Group, L.P., and it was swept under the proverbial “rug,” then, this is strong evidence that the corporate entities are being given immunity as they are destroying the citizens of Idaho with impunity.
In a future article we will let our readers know how the Idaho Governor’s Office responds to allegations of applying a ‘double standard’ that is, selectively enforcing the law because of alleged political influence of a governmental regulatory body, which should have the trust of the citizens not to allow corruption and certainly, not to allow alleged felons to be licensed as collection agencies, until the accusations of corruption are adequately investigated and dealt with, one way or the other.
This question must be answered: Is the Idaho Watch Dog doing its Job?