Department of Consumer Protection Files Complaint Against Alleged Parole System Scammer
The Department of Consumer Protection has issued an administrative complaint for alleged violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act against Christopher C. Shuckra of Hartford, and two companies he has operated in Connecticut and nationwide, the Department announced today.
The complaint alleges that Shuckra, doing business as Innovative Sentencing Solutions, LLC and Parole Advocates, offered parole and correctional advocacy services to prison inmates and their families in Connecticut and around the United States. Advertised services included, but were not limited to pardon and clemency petitions, and advocacy at parole hearings. As Innovative Sentencing Solutions, Shuckra entered into contracts that promised full refunds if specific results were not achieved and often instructed clients to make payment directly to him. On at least one business website, Shuckra listed Innovative Sentencing Solutions in the “Lawyers” section, although neither he nor his companies are licensed to perform legal services in Connecticut. Parole Advocates is Shuckra’s newest business venture. The complaint further alleges that while they took money from prisoners and their family, Shuckra and his businesses did not provide any services or make any refunds.
“If these allegations prove true, Mr. Shuckra and his companies victimized inmates’ wives, mothers, children and family members, stealing not only their money but their hopes of reuniting their families,” Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said today.“Shuckra’s clients often struggled greatly to pay his fees, which ranged from $500 to $2500, for which it appears that no services were delivered, and no full or partial refunds were ever provided.”
“These alleged contrived services merely prey upon offenders and their loved ones,” said Commissioner Leo C. Arnone, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Correction. “Many of the issues for which assistance was offered for a fee, such as obtaining a facility transfer, resolution of facility issues and parole hearing advocacy are matters that an inmate and his or her family could address for free with the department and typically are not open to outside influence.”
Christopher C. Shuckra is required to appear at a hearing before Commissioner Rubenstein at the Department of Consumer Protection office in Hartford on September 14th, 2012 at 10 a.m. where cease and desist and restitution orders will be considered.
“Anyone considering hiring an advocate for any purpose should first be sure that the person is properly licensed, check to see if any complaints have been filed against the person or their company, and try to get reviews from past clients,” Rubenstein said. For persons involved in the Corrections system, he encouraged consumers to seek the services of reliable, well-established experts, including community-based non-profit groups, attorneys, or the Corrections system personnel.
The Department of Consumer Protection advises consumers to be especially wary when, after enlisting services from a company, they are directed to make payment directly to an individual, or employee of that company.
Persons who believe they may have been scammed by Mr. Shuckra or either of his companies, – Innovative Sentencing Solutions, LLC or Parole Advocates, may contact the Department of Consumer Protection at 860-713-6085 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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