CHARLESTON - A Kanawha County man says his cleaning lady stole his checks and began forging them, leading to a dispute with a collection service.

Luther Shepherd filed the lawsuit Nov. 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Telecheck Services and TRS Recovery Services, a subsidiary of Telecheck.

He seeks compensation of no more than $74,000 and claims the company violated the West Virginia Credit and Consumer Protection Act by continuing to seek collection after he had filed an affidavit of forgery.

"Defendants' actions, as set forth herein, constitute numerous violations of the provisions of the West Virginia Credit and Consumer Protection Act, entitling the plaintiff to compensatory damages, statutory penalties and costs, including attorneys fees," the complaint says.

In March 2004, the complaint says Shepherd's cleaning lady stole his check and then passed them with forged signatures until June 2005.

Shepherd adds that he began receiving collection letters from TRS and Telecheck even after he filed an affidavit of forgery with them.

Anthony Majestro of Powell and Majestro is representing Shepherd, who says the defendants harassed him and committed fraud and tort of outrage. He also says he is entitled to punitive damages.

Judge Irene Berger has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2411

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