Lake Mary collection agency raided as IRS, Secret Service investigate $70M scheme



LAKE MARY, Fla. - Agents with the Internal Revenue Service and the Secret Service didn't say much Monday as they served a warrant at a collection agency in Lake Mary.

Owner Leonard Potillo III appeared in a federal courtroom and was charged in a $76 million scheme, Channel 9's Tim Barber learned.

Agents said Potillo was tied to a money laundering ring involving World Recovery Service, which was raided on Monday in Lake Mary.

Potillo is accused of scamming third-party debt purchases out of more than $70 million by making the value of the debt appear more valuable than it actually was.

He was indicted on seven counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of bribing bank officials and 16 counts of unlawful monetary transactions.

Barber was told agents went into World Recovery Service and ordered everyone to get off of their phones and outside.

Channel 9 was there Monday as dozens of frustrated employees  were forced out of the building.

"I'm actually here to get paid from the last eight weeks of working here," one woman told Channel 9. "Tried to walk upstairs. Can't even walk upstairs because they've been seized."

Agents were reportedly going through documents and interviewing people, but none of the agencies would elaborate on the purpose of the warrant.

The judge ordered Potillo into the custody of the U.S. marshals for three days while he figures out if he has enough money to pay for a private attorney.