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Consumer Protection Division

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NEWS
By Tanya Jones and Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF | September 14, 1997
Members of the Bay Fitness health clubs in Annapolis, Severna Park and Chester can get information about refunds they may be due by calling a hot line set up by the office of the attorney general: 410-576-7052.The Consumer Protection Division has ordered the owner of Bay Fitness in Annapolis to refund advance payments collected from members and stop collecting more than three months' advance payment from prospective customers until he posts a bond to cover the payments.Club owner Gary D. Mackler and his company, Chesapeake Fitness Ltd., did not post a bond that would have covered the amount they collected in advance payments from customers, according to the attorney general.
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BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | October 7, 2013
Joomsef.net, a website that posted exaggerated traffic citations, has reached a settlement with Maryland's Consumer Protection Division, the state attorney general announced this morning. The state claims that Joomsef, run by Stanislav Komsky, published public information on traffic offenses, but indicated that the drivers had been "booked" or arrested. It would also state that mugshots weren't available, wrongly implying that a mugshot had been taken, the state said. Consumers found out by searching for themselves on the Internet.
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BUSINESS
September 3, 2000
A Massachusetts-based realty property management company has agreed to stop charging its Maryland tenants improper application, cleaning and holding fees, and will give money back to thousands of consumers. The state Consumer Protection Division estimates more than 5,000 consumers are eligible to receive refunds of $100 to $125 from Berkshire Realty Holdings LP. Berkshire denied allegations by the state attorney general that it violated laws under the Consumer Protection Act. The company did not return phone calls seeking comment.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2013
CVS Caremark has agreed to pay $250,000 as part of a settlement resolving allegations that its pharmacy stores left products on shelves after they passed their sell-by dates and tossed customer records into open dumpsters, the Maryland attorney general's office said Wednesday. The office's Consumer Protection Division alleged that CVS did not have sufficient procedures to safeguard consumers' personal information when disposed and to avoid selling expired products — including baby formula, dairy products and over-the-counter drugs.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | August 24, 2000
Thousands of renters, including those who have leased apartments at Ridgeville Chase in Westminster, will benefit from a settlement reached between the Maryland attorney general's Consumer Protection Division and a national property management company that charged improper fees to tenants. The settlement reached last week with Berkshire Realty Holdings, L. P. means tenants will no longer be charged more than $25, or the actual cost of processing a rental application, according to the attorney general's office.
BUSINESS
By Mike Farabaugh and Mike Farabaugh,Staff Writer | September 18, 1992
BEL AIR -- Luskin's Inc. is seeking an injunction to block a challenge by the attorney general's office that its air fare giveaway ads violate Maryland consumer protection law.Luskin's filed its complaint in Harford Circuit Court last Friday.The Howard County-based retailer, which has a dozen metropolitan outlets, says it voluntarily discontinued an ad campaign July 31 that offered "free airfare . . . with selected purchases" and presented a revised campaign to the Consumer Protection Division on Aug. 17.The division had notified the company July 27 that its print and television promotions in June violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act. It cited three reasons:* Consumers had to buy items to receive a vacation.
NEWS
By Laura Sullivan and Laura Sullivan,SUN STAFF | June 2, 1998
The consumer protection division of the attorney general's office has ordered the defunct Bay Fitness health clubs in Severna Park and on Kent Island to pay almost $325,000 in fines and restitution for selling memberships not adequately protected by bonds.The clubs, owned by Gary D. Mackler, failed in May last year after collecting membership fees from 250 patrons, none of whom was reimbursed.Mackler reportedly has left the country and is believed to be living in Hong Kong, Assistant Attorney General Steve Sakamoto-Wengel said.
NEWS
May 14, 2002
Police seek Laurel man charged in shooting Police were seeking yesterday Terrell T. Bush, 21, of the 200 block of Fort Meade Road in Laurel. Bush is charged in a warrant with attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Marcellis L. Anderson, 24, of the Baltimore Highlands section of Baltimore County. Anderson was in serious condition yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Police said he was shot in the upper body after an argument on Arwell Court. Attorney general orders business to cease operating The state attorney general's office has issued a cease-and-desist order against Hoffman Marine Construction Inc. of Pasadena, charging that the company took money from customers to build piers, seawalls and other structures but did not deliver.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2011
The consumer protection division of the state attorney general's office has ordered a Missouri corporation and its owners to stop marketing vehicle service contracts and to pay roughly $25 million in penalties and restitution to Maryland customers. But the company has filed for bankruptcy and its owners are facing felony criminal charges in Missouri that include theft and insurance fraud, so Maryland customers will likely recoup only a small percentage of what they paid, Philip Ziperman, deputy chief of the consumer protection division, said Thursday.
BUSINESS
January 31, 1999
Sixteen homeowners who were defrauded when Manor Builders Inc. suddenly ceased operation last year will be issued refunds by the Consumer Protection Division of the state's attorney general's office.Palmer C. Williams Jr., the owner of Manor Builders, Inc. and Phoenix Land Inc., fled Maryland after reneging on contracts to build homes in Baltimore and Harford counties. Williams left behind a $20,000 escrow account, which the division seized and is distributing to the homeowners."Buyers should know that Maryland law protects them in the event the builder goes out of business," Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. said.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | May 13, 2013
Take a line-by-line look at your cellphone bill - all dozen or so pages. See a $9.99 charge for horoscopes, flirting tips or some such thing that you didn't request? If so, you've been crammed. Once only a big problem with landline telephones, cramming - the placement of unauthorized charges on phone bills by outsiders - is gaining a foothold in the mobile-phone marketplace, regulators and consumer advocates say. Indeed, some landline crammers have migrated to wireless schemes as consumers switch to smartphones.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | July 6, 2012
An unlicensed driveway paver working in the Annapolis area was ordered to pay nearly $500,000 in fines and restitution after the Maryland Attorney General's office found that he "preyed" on customers, charging them far more than he said he would. The attorney general's office said Friday that it has ordered Tommy Edward Clack, who also goes by Tommy Clark and Ed Clack, to repay at least $204,000 to customers. The office's consumer protection division also levied $284,000 in fines and ordered him to pay $5,000 in agency expenses.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | January 27, 2012
Maryland's consumer protection division has filed complaints against two health clubs and their owners for not registering with the state. The state requires health clubs to be registered and bonded, which protects consumers from losing fees paid in advance if the club goes belly up. The state's targets: Body Talk, a Laurel club owned by Arnell Tunstall-Richardson; and Kassama's Okinawan Karate Studio in Baltimore owned by Ontagu-Ibrahima Kassama....
NEWS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2012
More than two dozen Maryland home builders have agreed to pay penalties totaling $26,000 to settle allegations that they violated state building laws, Maryland's Attorney General said Tuesday. Ryan Homes, NV Homes, Rachuba Home Builders LLC and Pulte Home Corp. were among 27 builders that reached settlements with the state Consumer Protection Division's Home Builder Registration Unit. State officials said violations included companies operating without being registered and failing to disclose information to the registration unit in applications.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | January 5, 2012
Under an agreement announced Thursday by the Maryland attorney general's office, Wells Fargo has agreed to make loan modifications and pay nearly $1 million in restitution to customers of two lenders acquired by the bank. The office's Consumer Protection Division, which reached the agreement with Wells Fargo, said lenders Wachovia and Golden West Financial used deceptive marketing in offering consumers adjustable-rate home loans. Wells Fargo will pay $940,056 to borrowers with "Pick-a-Payment" mortgages written by Wachovia and Golden West who lost their homes in foreclosure, the agreement says.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | August 17, 2011
The office of the state attorney general ordered an Anne Arundel County home builder on Wednesday to pay more than $124,000 in refunds to customers who were building a home in Baltimore County, penalties and costs. The attorney general's consumer protection division says Steven Hessler and Charm City Builders Inc. of Pasadena violated the state's Custom Home Protection Act by failing to place money paid by the customers in an escrow acount or have a surety bond to cover the deposits and payments made.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | October 7, 2013
Joomsef.net, a website that posted exaggerated traffic citations, has reached a settlement with Maryland's Consumer Protection Division, the state attorney general announced this morning. The state claims that Joomsef, run by Stanislav Komsky, published public information on traffic offenses, but indicated that the drivers had been "booked" or arrested. It would also state that mugshots weren't available, wrongly implying that a mugshot had been taken, the state said. Consumers found out by searching for themselves on the Internet.
BUSINESS
By John A. Morris and John A. Morris,Sun Staff Writer | March 31, 1995
The prize letter said Pat Paddack and his wife, Diane, had won a Lincoln Town Car. They had only to travel to a Pennsylvania campground to claim it.At first, they couldn't believe it, said Mr. Paddack, a former mayor of Hagerstown. "We read this thing 50 times before we called," he recalled.However, when they arrived at the campground, there was no car -- only a high-pressure sales pitch and a set of steak knives.The Paddacks were among 100,000 Maryland families lured to the Outdoor World Corp.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2011
The consumer protection division of the state attorney general's office has ordered a Missouri corporation and its owners to stop marketing vehicle service contracts and to pay roughly $25 million in penalties and restitution to Maryland customers. But the company has filed for bankruptcy and its owners are facing felony criminal charges in Missouri that include theft and insurance fraud, so Maryland customers will likely recoup only a small percentage of what they paid, Philip Ziperman, deputy chief of the consumer protection division, said Thursday.
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