No good deed comes without its challenges. In an effort to connect 1,056 New York City workers to an average owed amount of $3,576, the comptroller’s office discovered another organization attempting to do the same thing.
That organization, Metrosearch Recoveries, LLC is an assets recovery firm specializing in connecting persons with their assets. According to the comptroller’s office, an individual entered their office with a form informing them that they were owed wages from Metrosearch Recoveries. The form offers to aid individuals in receiving their owed funds; upon receipt, Metrosearch Recoveries will receive a 20 percent commission fee of the recovered funds.
According to Comptroller Scott Stringer, Metrosearch Recoveries is misleading workers by requiring them to pay a commission fee and has since issued a cease-and-desist letter.
“Let me make it clear. My office has zero tolerance for anyone who tries to cheat workers out of their wages,” Stringer said. “This is your money and you can get it from us for free, no strings attached.”
David Schwartz, Metrosearch Recoveries’ attorney, finds the cease-and-desist letter to be faulty and intends on issuing a response.
“Metrosearch operates a legal business in New York. The idea of the cease-and-desist I find to be very faulty in its basis in the law,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz affirms that Metrosearch Recoveries is operating within the regulations and its requirement of a fee is valid as they are doing the leg work to ensure workers are connected with their funds. While a list of 1,056 names are publicly available online via the comptroller’s website, Schwartz states that Metrosearch Recoveries goes the extra mile to locate the addresses, bring it to the individual’s attention, and successfully connect persons with their assets.
“This is a business that works with banks, attorneys, finding assets for people on a daily basis and doing a lot of work to find the actual addresses of people so that the money can be returned. Whether it’s the comptroller or even on the state level or any other state, they don’t really go out of their way to find the people,” Schwartz added.
The comptroller’s office is not interested in requiring any worker to pay for their wages owed and hopes to continue connecting with workers through their own efforts.
“Metrosearch Recoveries is nothing more than a bunch of hustlers trying to shake down hard working New Yorkers,” Stringer said.
Whether Metrosearch Recoveries has complied with the cease-and-desist has not yet been disclosed but Schwwartz believes the issue of payment is not a good enough reason considering this is a state regulated service.
“I understand that’s their issue but it’s a completely legal business. Whether they comply or not is a whole other story but legally there’s no basis in the law for the cease-and-desist,” Schwartz said.
Thus far, the Comptroller’s office has matched 11 workers with funds; eight have received their money.