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NY debt-settlement agency charged with fraud

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NEW YORK (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a New York City company that advertised debt-settlement services actually defrauded debt-ridden individuals out of millions of dollars.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York says Mission Settlement Agency, its owner Michael Levitis and three employees have been charged with mail and wire fraud.

Prosecutors say the defendants scammed more than 1,200 victims by lying about Mission's fees. They say Mission employees also lied about the debt-reduction results they supposedly achieved for customers.

The indictment against the company, Levitis and three employees is being announced Tuesday.

A woman who answered the phone at Levitis' Brooklyn home said he had no comment.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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