In Alonso v. Blackstone Financial Group LLC, 2013 WL 687073 (E.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Boone allowed a claim to proceed against an owner of a debt collection agency in disregard of the corporate fiction, following Cruz v. International Collection Corp., 673 F.3d 991 (9th Cir.2012), and explaining:
Plaintiff argues that Elsen is a proper defendant since he was the sole owner and manager involved in the daily operations of Defendant Blackstone. “The purpose of the FDCPA is to protect vulnerable and unsophisticated debtors from abuse, harassment, and deceptive collection practices.” Guerrero v. RJM Acquisitions LLC, 449 F.3d 926, 938 (9th Cir.2007). The FDCPA prohibits the use of “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692e. The FDCPA does not require a mental state to violate it, as it is a strict liability statue. Cruz v. International Collection Corp., 673 F.3d 991, 997 (9th Cir.2012). Under the statute, a “debt collector” is defined as “any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due … to another.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6). ¶ This circuit recently addressed whether the sole owner, officer, and director of a corporation could be liable under the FDCPA where he directly participated in collecting debts. In Cruz v. International Collection Corp., 673 F.3d 991 (9th Cir.2012), the Ninth Circuit held that the sole owner, officer, and director of the corporation was a “debt collector” under the statute when he did everything for the collection agency, including debt collection activities. Cruz, 673 F.3d at 999. ¶ Plaintiff’s first amended complaint alleges that Elsen regularly engaged, directly and indirectly, in the collection of debts as an officer, director, managing member, principal shareholder and person in control of Defendant Blackstone. (First Am. Compl. ¶ 12, ECF No. 22–1.) Further, Plaintiff asserts that “Elsen was deeply involved with the daily operations of Defendant Blackstone, including: being present and managing the office everyday, and was the sole person monitoring and supervising its ‘collectors’ conduct, and who provided training, monitored collection phone calls, and addressed complaints received from debtors.” (ECF No. 22 at 4.) The Court finds that Elsen is a proper defendant in this action as he directly and indirectly participated in debt collection activities. Having found that Elsen is a proper defendant, the Court shall consider whether the amend complaint will relate back to the date of filing of the original complaint.