Excerpt from The "Fake" Instalment Business: Being an Outline of Its Development, an Account of the Revival of Imprisonment for Debt and of the Other Outrages Practiced by Dealers Under Cover of the Law, Together With Suggestions for the Destruction of the "Fake" Trade
For some years a number of East Side instalment dealers have perpetrated the grossest frauds and almost inhuman legal brutalities upon the more ignorant portion of the immigrant population of the district - especially upon the Italians. Dur ing the early months of 1902 these abuses reached a climax. The Legal Aid Society, which has an office in the Settlement Building, fought with all its energy for the rights of the victims of the fake dealers, but although these efforts were attended with temporary success the conditions were so severe that a thorough investigation of the fake business and its couse quent evils seemed absolutely necessary. The council of the University Settlement decided that such an investigation fell within the province of the Settlement's duty to the neighbor hood, and appointed the below subscribed committee to arrange for a thorough inquiry. Henry R. Mussey, a gradu ate student of Columbia University, undertook the investiga tion. This investigation was undertaken, of course, with the intention that its results should serve as a basis for formulating a bill directed against this pernicious business. At the time this is written such a bill is being considered by the State Legislature.
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