Ventura – “Sharkie’s Collections Inc.” may be a registered corporate entity properly paying their annual fees to the State of California Franchise Tax Board, but that would speak more to the far-reaching ability of the government to impose levies upon and raise funds for the state’s General Fund coffers than to the statutory legality of the business operations themselves. While there are myriad licensed collection agencies operating statewide, Sharkie’s apparently uses techniques for the collection of overdue business obligations that may be outside the law.
Evidence of strong arm collection protocols on the part of Sharkie’s owner/operator 44-year-old Mark Gallegos of Montclair, that haven’t been seen since Sylvester Stallone wore fingerless black gloves in the original Rocky film, surfaced on Tuesday, November 3rd when the Ventura Police Command Center received a call from the Oxnard Police Department reporting a Ventura business owner complaining that Gallegos had extorted several thousand dollars from him.
Officers from both Oxnard and City of Ventura Police departments responded to the scene in downtown Ventura, where the reporting victim indicated that Gallegos was, according to the VPD Watch Commander’s report, “currently across the street.” Officers approached Gallegos and detained him for what one would surmise were a few probing questions as to his recent contact with the victim.
Pursuant to their questioning of Gallegos, VPD Major Crimes detectives responded and identified him as a “collection expert using fear and intimidation tactics to collect on business debts.” It was quickly determined that over the prior year he had threatened the reporting victim with harm in order to collect on money owed. On the day in question, Gallegos had arrived at the victim’s personal residence and demanded payment from family members.
At that point, Gallegos was taken into custody and transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was charged with felony extortion.
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