Cobra Collection Agency Scam: Company Information

Cobra Collections Agency was a collection agency that was owned, managed, and operated by Janice B. Ledden. The business was based in Columbus, GA and had customers in the surrounding areas including Phenix City, AL.

Prior to Cobra Collections, Janice Ledden worked as General Manager for Credit Adjustment Bureau (CAB). She was also known as Janice Bass at that time. Credit Adjustment Bureau was owned and managed by Sarah Miller Bolt. It is my understanding that Sarah, after an extended illness, died of a heart attack sometime in 2005. Formally, CAB was registered with the State of Georgia Corporations as Credit Adjustment Bureau Group Inc. You can view their Certificate of Incorporation here. They were located at 4400 2nd Ave, Suite 8, Columbus, GA 31904.

Cobra Collections started as a sole proprietorship sometime in January 2005. Janice planned her transition from CAB to Cobra during December 2005. I was one of several clients who were notified ahead of time. According to Cobra Collections’ Certificate of Incorporation, Cobra Collections was later incorporated on February 7, 2005 with the assistance of Richard Flowers, a Columbus, Georgia attorney. The company is listed on the State of Georgia Corporations database as Cobra Collections Inc. (Control #0511250) as a for-profit corporation. Their Registered Agent is Richard Flowers.

The original business address was: 3228 University Ave. Suite 109, Columbus, GA 31907. Their prior phone numbers were: 706.568.8800 and FAX: 706.568.8803. Buck Investments (landlord of the office space) informed me they had filed for a dispossessory warrant after Cobra Collections being 3 months behind. They clearly chose not to keep their existing phone numbers and elected to get new phone numbers.

They had moved their office to: 3500 University Ave. Columbus, GA 31907 during late February 2007. They were in Suite 4 in May 2007 but moved to Suite 3 in June 2007. There was one report that said they were in Suite 9 at some point but I believe it is inaccurate.


 

Last Known Contact Information (Updated: 6/27/07)

I suspect that Janice Ledden and Cobra Collection Agency will soon be “on the run”. The most current contact information I have is listed here. If you have more current information, please contact me to update this.

 

Office Building Location

Their office no longer exists and appears to be vacated. (The shut down was approximately June 15, 2007)

P.O. Box Adddress

P.O. Box 8549
Columbus, GA 31908

 

Michael & Janice Ledden’s Home Address (Updated: 2/11/09)

Now in Fairbanks Alaska. They vacated their Columbus, GA rental home around June 25, 2007. We are in the process of finding their home address in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The last known email address I have on Janice Ledden is jbledden@yahoo.com.


 

Cobra Collections Office Has Shutdown (Updated: 6/15/07)

For all practical purposes, the Cobra Collections office has shut down. I believe this based on a combination of what I have observed and what has been reported in. WRBL seems to have confirmed this. The windows have been boarded from the inside. There are notices posted on the door from the landlord as well as an unpaid utility bill. People are reporting that no one is answering the phone. There is nearly no activity at Suite 4. The landlord has removed the road sign. There have been sightings of equipment being hauled off.

Two weeks ago, I predicted this might happen and I was right. I warned the community to not waste their time and energy looking for money because there would be none to find. Their only recourse for satisfaction are to look for criminal charges and prosecution. Restitution is totally out of the question as the amount of money taken would take a lifetime to repay. And of course, the reputational damage has been severe simply based on truthful reporting.

However, that does not mean there are no collection efforts happening. Remember, all anyone needs is a telephone to collect. I believe that Janice will continue to squeeze what she can out of this before she clears out. The Cobra Collections office is now closed but I believe Janice is still operating.

Aside from Michael, there may be one other individual assisting them at this very low point.


 

Lawsuit: Marie Sandoval vs. Cobra Collections, Inc. (Updated: 6/15/07)

It appears the lawsuits against Cobra Collections and Janice Ledden have begun. Look at what just surfaced on Google, the case of Marie Sandoval vs. Cobra Collections Inc.

Please note that the main defendant is Cobra Collections, Inc. NOT Cobra Collection Agency, Inc. as their sign says. In addition to Janice Ledden, Brook Jones, Thomas Billingsly, and John Benjamin are defendants in the case.

I have been in contact with Marie Sandoval to let her know that she is not alone and made her aware of this website. I have been informed that some of the names on the summons are fictitious names. The true identity of “Thomas Billingsley” is Harold Sanders, “Brook Jones” is Janice Ledden, “John Benjamin” is John Young. John Young also uses the alias “Tom Franklin”.

A clerk from James Feagle’s office called to confirm receipt of my email. I informed them of the alias names and directed them to this website for more information.


 

Six Ex-Employees Reveal Internal Operations (Updated: 6/20/07)

I was contacted by an ex-employee that wanted to share some crucial inside information with the public. I personally interviewed them at a local restaurant to collect their information. She along with her sister (K&F) want to remain anonymous at this time but have provided a substantial amount of information and even an internal report. I am sorting through the information at this time. Sis #1 worked with Janice in the Credit Adjustment Bureau days and worked at Cobra from Jan. 2005 to Apr. 2005. Sis #2 worked from Oct. 2005 to Apr. 2007.

They both reported that Cobra started issuing bad payroll checks sometime in 2006 and were often instructed to not cash the checks at local banks. They were encouraged to cash the checks at non-bank locations. These employees are unable to file for unemployment compensation because they were informed that Cobra Collections does not pay their payroll taxes.

Regarding payments from debtors, Cobra resorts to making unauthorized debit charges to checking accounts. Cobra also encourage people to pay with cash or with Western Union.

Cease & Desist orders are often ignored. In fact, when cease & desist orders came in, staff members are instructed to collect more aggressively so that there would be less to collect when the account was returned to the client.

Both sisters (K&F) described the deliberate misappropriation of funds. Some items that have been paid including Janice’s plastic surgery, a trip to Hawaii, a motorcycle, and other personal extravagances.

“Camie” substantiated many of these alleged actions. However, it appears that Janice took “Camie” under her wing and personally trained her to perform certain tasks. “Camie” wishes to communicate to everyone her sorrow, regret, and apologies for her participation in some inappropriate actions. I hope she revisits with me again at a later date.

And yet another ex-employee, named “Ex-Employee #4” (who requested absolute anonymity) stepped forward today to provide me her opinion of who is remaining in the current Cobra Collections Team. She believes there are only 4 members left: Janice, Michael, John Young, and Jenny P. I was informed by 3 ex-employees that Jenny P. came from the Credit Adjustment Bureau days and knowingly supporting Janice to the end. Jenny P., if you are reading this, I recommend you find another job quickly or resign. It is not too late to get out.

Ex-Employee #5. “Jay” called to share what he saw were extravagant eBay transactions with PayPal payments through the Cobra checking account in the late 2005 time frame. He estimated that there were $10,000-$20,000 worth of transactions paid with Paypal. Jay commented that seeing those transactions greatly troubled him. Jay commented that Michael and Janice would have occasional disputes regarding the handling of money. A warning was put to the staff to never discuss the checking account with Michael. Jay reported that Michael’s brother who invested money in Cobra Collections was ultimately paid back. Jay provided commentary on how he felt Janice had melodramatic tendencies. These melodramatic tendencies have been substantiated by all the ex-employees.

Ex-Employee #6. “D” called me nearly 2 weeks ago and left me a voice mail and said she would call me back later. She finally called back tonight and we had a good conversation. I got additional confirmation on many of the allegations that were presented by many of the other employees. There was one ex-employee I particularly want to speak with that I hope she will put in a good word with. I am flattered that I have been able to win “D” over enough that we might have a 2nd conversation.

Ex-Employee #7. I know who I want #7 to be but I am willing to listen to any ex-employee.

I want to publicly acknowledge and thank each of them for their contribution to this website. They are among the unsung heroes whom I wish I could publicly thank. For now, I hope when they read this website, they have everyone’s gratitude for their contributions even though most of you may not ever know what their true identities are. I am respecting every individual’s request for privacy and anonymity.


 

Michael Ledden’s Active Role in Cobra Collections (Updated: 6/8/07)

Up until recently, I have been uncertain as to Michael Ledden’s role in Cobra Collections. When Janice allegedly suffered a nervous breakdown sometime in late 2005/early 2006 time frame, I met with Michael himself during those friendlier times and he told me how he was doing his best to turn things around within Cobra Collections. Nevertheless, I still had reservations about how much he knew about Janice’s inappropriate and illegal machinations or participated in them. Call it my sense of “giving the benefit of the doubt”.

Unfortunately for him, all four ex-employees have come forward and unanimously state that Michael is an active and willing participant of most, if not all, of the financial manipulation, deception, and illegal machinations within Cobra Collections. I do not believe that all four employees who worked during various periods of Cobra Collections history are fabricating stories.

As such, I now believe Michael Ledden is an active participant of the overall Cobra Collection scam and just as guilty as Janice of most (if not all) of the accusations being brought against Janice. As far as I can tell, Michael does not have the extensive “colorful” history that Janice has. I have been told that Michael comes from Albany, GA. This appears to be substantiated by my recent conversation with his brother “S” who also lives in Albany, GA. Loyalty to his wife is commendable in most circumstances, but not if it involves criminal and unethical actions.


 

Cobra Collector with a Criminal Background (Updated: 6/20/07)

An associate of an ex-employee brought this criminal record to my attention. According to ex-employees, John B. Young apparently goes by aliases within Cobra Collections such as Tom Franklin and John Benjamin. Debtors have confirmed those names. John Young had been described to me as a tall black male that had a criminal record relating to drugs. I understand he is on probation currently. He is not too smart for getting into this mess with Janice. He appears to have stuck by her to the bitter end.

Previously, I had not found anyone named John Young in my earlier search that matched that description and yet here it is. I obviously made a search error. This person appears to be that man that works in Cobra Collections with Janice and Michael. I am quite certain that Mr. Young would have valuable inside information if he is willing to step forward. Once again, I thank your community members for stepping forward with valuable information.


 

Jerry Bolt Opens His Files on Janice Ledden (Updated: 6/4/07)

Jerry Bolt, widowed husband of Sarah Miller Bolt (owner of defunct Credit Adjustment Bureau), has been in contact with me. He appears to have extensive first-hand information in many areas. He knew Janice personally and last saw her in 2005. He has been instrumental in providing some key information on this website. I thank him for his contributions and the large pieces of information and crucial leads he has provided.

Jerry’s research has led me to discover Janice’s true (and perhaps complete) identity and her extensive Bankruptcy filings.

Jerry issued a Warning Letter on November 1, 2005 to Whom It May Concern and received a reply on November 10, 2005 by the State of Georgia, Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs..

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Unauthorized Electronic Debit Charges (Updated: 5/30/07)

Michelle S., a financial controller based in Destin, FL, contacted me representing a company that owed money to one of her vendors. She reported to me that Cobra Collections (without proper authorization) electronically charged and debited their corporate account an amount of over $5,000.00 (over a period of time) for a $1,500.00 debt. Clearly, this company more than made good on the debt.

Michelle aggressively took action and made contact with AmSouth Bank regarding the unauthorized charges. She shared the good news with me that she successfully reversed the more recent charges. Cobra Collections has since been banned from making any more charges to their AmSouth Bank account. However, Michelle is still fighting with Cobra Collections for the monies taken without permission prior to the recent transactions.

The lesson here is, if you have a good banking relationship, your bank will likely come to your defense and reverse fraudulent or unauthorized electronic debit charges. I have been a victim of electronic fraud. And in both cases with the two different banking institutions, the charges were reversed and I was protected. Clearly, most banks hate this sort of stuff and look out for their customers.

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$100,000 Lawsuit Against Cobra Collections Found in Mississippi! (Updated: 7/11/07)

Just when we think we have found out all the major information we are going to find out on Cobra Collections, I discover a $100,000 lawsuit against Cobra Collections in Mississippi public court records that began in April 2006!

The plaintiff’s attorney emailed me to let me know they had discovered this website. It seems they are quite pleased with the wealth of information on this website regarding Janice and the Cobra Collection scam. I surmise they are going to put the information found here to good use. It is unclear whether the defense attorney in Mississippi knows about this website. I am guessing this website is not good for their side.

To date, I have only discovered the case of Marie Sandoval vs. Cobra Collections. However, that case has only just begun. Unfortunately, that case will not likely go anywhere because Janice cannot get served and some of the people listed on the complaint simply don’t exist. They are simply aliases.

Not so on the case of William Elwood vs. Cobra Collections. Janice was fully served and she responded back in 2006! There are 24 documents consisting of over 100+ pages of text! I have downloaded these documents and currently reading and sorting them. There are simply too many pages to post. So, I will go through and post up the juiciest pieces very soon!

As far as I know, the E&O (Errors & Omissions) Insurance policy Cobra Collections bought is being put to good use and paying for her defense attorney. So, there is a good chance that Mr. Elwood will get some money for his troubles and the attornies will get paid. Unlike most lawsuits against Janice, I believe this case will actually go somewhere. I am hopeful that Mr. Elwood will prevail for his troubles. I surmise the defense attorney will want to settle on this case at some point given that Janice and Michael are on the run.

It will not look good if they do not show up to court in Mississippi. It will look especially bad once they discover that very few people know where Janice and Michael are now.

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Secret Internal Report Reveals $6 Million Worth of Client Accounts! (Updated: 6/11/07)

Last week, we had a startling break in the Cobra Collection Scam case! An anonymous source submitted this top secret client report last week. However, it was held back for further analysis and confirmation. Additionally, we took steps to inform every client we could reach before releasing this report.

Because of the sensitive nature of this report, the client names and identities have been blurred and withheld.

According to the report, the scam involves $6,272,963.96 worth of accounts from 327 clients!

Yes, you read that right. That is Six Million, Two Hundred Seventy Two Thousand, Nine Hundred Sixty Three Dollars and 96 cents worth of Customer Accounts!

For the sake of easier calculations, we will assume a collection accounts base of $6 million. Assuming a 25% success collection rate of these client accounts, this means Cobra collected a gross of $1.5 million over 2.5 years (or $600,000 per year).

Of that $1.5 million, roughly 50% (the client share) of that amount ($750,000) belongs to the clients. How much of that $750,000 that has actually been paid out to clients has yet to be determined. There are reports that some clients were paid occasionally, some clients were not paid at all. Because the bulk of reports appear to begin in mid-2006, we can conservatively estimate that she has not paid one year’s worth of client monies.

At a gross of $600,000 per year, 50% belongs to the clients ($300,000).

The amount of money Janice and Michael has scammed is staggering! My initial estimates of $40,000 to $60,000 was simply pathetic. It shows my own ignorance. I was absolutely wrong and nowhere close! I absolutely had no clue the actual size of the scam until I received this report!

Even using a dramatically lower 15% success collection rate, it still puts the gross amount of $900,000 over the 2.5 years (or $360,000 per year). The client’s half puts the figure at $180,000. No matter what ratio you use, the size of the scam is both overwhelming and staggering.

My revised estimate of the size of the scam is now between $200,000 to $300,000! That is at least a quarter of a million dollars being kept from the clients. This is why I believe that there is no way for Janice or Cobra Collections to ever recover.

Where is all this money going? An analysis is forthcoming. I am very sure the IRS will want to follow-up with Janice and Michael very soon.

 

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