AG Claims Dealer Defrauded Consumers Featured
04 August 2017
Kentucky’s attorney general filed suit against a used-car dealer in the state, claiming the dealer defrauded more than 1,400 customers.Kim Sweazy, director of operations for the Better Business Bureau serving Central and Eastern Kentucky, joined Attorney General Andy Beshear in announcing the lawsuit against The United Group Inc., also known as Auto Plaza USA.According to the lawsuit, the Nicholasville dealership violated Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act by collecting vehicle usage taxes from customers and then falsifying documents in order to avoid making the correct payment to the Kentucky Department of Revenue. As a result, customers received delinquent tax notices from the department and were left owing a tax bill that, in many cases, they already paid to the defendant.The alleged fraud took place between 2012 and 2016. The lawsuit also alleges Auto Plaza USA charged each customer a $489 fee for preparation of documents and services that were not properly performed.The suit seeks damages including approximately $465,000 in restitution for the customers who incurred additional unpaid usage tax liabilities, and $685,000 for customers affected by the bogus customer fee.The Office of the Attorney General launched an investigation into the company’s practices and filed suit following more than 100 consumer complaints received by both the attorney general’s office and the Better Business Bureau.