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Press Release

Attorney General Josh Shapiro Announces Results of Statewide Consumer Protection Initiative to Secure Restitution Payments to Consumers

August 28, 2018 | Topic: Consumers

Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection seeks more than $75K in Court-Ordered Restitution from Businesses and Individuals

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection has filed 12 legal actions involving the failure of various businesses and individuals in nine counties to comply with court orders by paying more than $75,000 to Pennsylvania consumers.

The legal actions, which were filed to enforce these settlements and ensure Pennsylvanians receive the restitution they have been awarded, followed a review of compliance issues related to the settlements and court orders.  The prior settlements and court orders included Assurances of Voluntary Compliance, Consent Petitions, Default Judgments and prior actions for contempt or sanctions.

“When businesses and individuals break the law and then enter into settlement agreements with my Office, they are required to keep up their end of the bargain,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “If a court issues an order, we expect people to respect the court’s authority by fully complying. We will take all necessary steps to protect Pennsylvania consumers and ensure a level-playing field for businesses who do comply with the laws.”

In the actions filed, the Bureau sought of the following relief:

  • All restitution, civil penalties and costs in the original agreements or orders to be immediately paid;
  • The imposition of an additional civil penalty in the amount of $5,000.00 for the violations;
  • The Commonwealth’s attorney fees and costs in pursuing the enforcements;
  • Forfeiture of the right to conduct business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and
  • A term of incarceration to be imposed until such time as the individuals can purge themselves of the contempt.

One example of the need for this enforcement action is Andrei Losev and his company, Lars Group, Inc., which failed to comply with a 2012 court-approved settlement by misrepresenting the seller and the condition of vehicles sold on eBay.  Losev and Lars sold an additional 3,500 vehicles since 2012 and concealed their true identity from purchasers prior to the sale. Additionally, the defendants in that case had failed to complete their payments to the Commonwealth under the Court Order.  An evidentiary hearing was held, and the parties are awaiting the Court’s decision.  This pleading, along with the other legal actions are linked here.

“If you believe you were victimized by a scam, contact my office today,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “I want to hear from you, and we’ll seek justice and restitution for you.”

Consumers who believe they have been a victim of a scam or disreputable business practice should file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 800-441-2555, emailing scams@attorneygeneral.gov or completing a form online here: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/submit-a-complaint/.

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