A former employee of a forensic auditing and mortgage relief company is suing the organization for wrongful discharge, alleging that the firing was retaliation for his registering complaints of deceptive or fraudulent business practices.
Philadelphia attorney Brendan D. Hennessy, of the firm Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., filed the civil complaint June 17 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of James Marvel.
The complaint alleges that Marvel’s firing on March 9, 2011 from GMK Solutions, LLC, after two years of employment, stemmed from his questioning of what appeared to be illegal business practices.
According to the lawsuit, in October 2010, GMK allegedly began falsely informing clients that their mortgage loan agreements were in violation of state and/or federal law, enabling the company to unlawfully retain client refunds.
The suit states that GMK charges $975 for its services, and in August 2010 began offering clients $900 refunds when the company’s forensic audits revealed no violations of the law.
“By way of example, defendant organization habitually informed clients that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) agreements violated their mortgage loan agreements, thereby violating state and/or federal law,” the complaint states. “In actuality, said agreements are wholly unrelated to mortgage loan agreements.”
The suit alleges the business practice is fraudulent under Pennsylvania law, which states a person commits an offense if, in the course of business, the person makes or introduces others to rely on a false or misleading written statement for the purpose of obtaining property or credit.”
Shortly after discovering the alleged illegal activity, for which numerous people filed complaints with the Pennsylvania attorney general and the Better Business Bureau, Marvel lodged a complaint with company leadership, who refused to stop their business practices, the complaint states.
Marvel subsequently filed additional complaints, and was eventually terminated because the company head was “tired of Plaintiff bringing up situations about refunding client’s money,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit states that Marvel felt he was fired strictly for retaliation and refusing to engage in “unlawful schemes and/or registering complaints of unlawful activities, in violation of Pennsylvania public policy.”
Through court action, Marvel seeks a return to his prior position with back pay and benefits, an award of front pay, and compensatory damages for future pecuniary losses, pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish and other non-pecuniary losses as allowable.
Marvel had demanded a jury trial. The case awaits listing.
The case number is 110601484.