MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The state revoked a Twin Cities businessman’s license Wednesday for what they call “untrustworthiness” and “incompetence.”
It’s the second time he’s been punished since WCCO started looking into his company.
“What he’s doing is very wrong,” said one of his former customers. “Trying to work on your life, rebuild your credit and he’s basically stealing from you.”
They are the same complaints made against Joe McGlynn for years.
WCCO found that a state office, which is already under the microscope, allowed McGlynn to open a new business under a new name.
Angie Fries signed on the dotted line in December of 2015. She hoped to improve her credit score before buying her first home.
“I trusted him with rebuilding my credit for the past year and we’ve gotten nowhere,” Fries said.
A few months in, when Fries went to refinance her car loan, her bank started to ask questions.
“They said it looked like he was hurting my credit, not helping it,” Fries said.
She still has not received a straight answer from McGlynn — $1,300 and more than a year later.
“He set up a conference call with my bank and me, and both times he never called,” she said.
As a small business owner, Kim Wilson saw success with United Credit Consultants when she signed up the first time. When she noticed a few errors filed on her credit report more recently, she enrolled again at McGlynn’s new Credit Services.
When Wilson paid another $1,000 and signed her son up for a $500 deal this time around, McGlynn dodged her questions about why nothing changed. And after setting up meetings twice, he never showed. He said he was sick the first time, and blamed a flat tire on his Maserati for cancelling the second time.
“I’m disappointed that he’s allowed to be in business,” Wilson said.
Kris Williamson spent six months working for McGlynn.
“They’re doing the exact same stuff they were doing before. Nothing’s changed except for the name and the location,” Williamson said.
He knew nothing of the bad publicity that surrounded the Burnsville company when he was hired.
“Joe’s a master marketer,” he said.
Williamson says it was well known that McGlynn refined Google results to keep things looking clean.
“You got to really dig deep in the internet to find anything negative on Joe,” Williamson said.
That’s when the Department of Commerce revoked the license for United Credit Consultants. But they had already issued a new one to McGlynn’s Credit Services at Gaviidae Common in Downtown Minneapolis the month before.
“The reason they wanted to change the name was so that they could separate themselves from their past,” Williamson said.
But again we found the past seems to have caught up with McGlynn. The state issued a cease-and-desist order revoking his license on Wednesday, saying his “behavior demonstrates untrustworthiness, financial irresponsibility and incompetence.”
We couldn’t reach McGlynn for comment, and his doors downtown have remained locked for days.
But Tara McGlynn — his wife and the person in charge of billing as the company’s account manager — posted this to her Facebook page: “CreditServices.com new corporate headquarters is New York, New York. Peace out Minnesota. On to bigger and better things!”
WCCO checked, and the McGlynns do not hold a credit repair license to practice in New York. Minnesota officials say they shares enforcement action with other states.
Lawmakers at the capitol are also questioning the practices of the Minnesota Department of Commerce after a recent court ruling in another case. An auto glass company sued the D.O.C. and won after it maintained it never misled customers.
Lawmakers believe the case could point to something else going on, saying the department handled the case unfairly and engaged in inappropriate dealings with Safelite competitors in order to benefit them.
Representative Kelly Fenton told WCCO in a statement: “Recent court decisions from judges of high regard show a pattern of abuse of power and anti-consumer behavior from the Department of Commerce and Commissioner Mike Rothman.”
The D.O.C responded with this statement:
“In 2016 alone, the Commerce Department received nearly 60,000 complaints and questions from Minnesotans about the industries we regulate. When we learn that a company is unlawfully taking advantage of consumers or engaging in anti-competitive practices against other businesses, Minnesotans can trust that the Commerce Department will be on their side and take action.”