Tags: NY | Soldiers | Gouging | Lawsuit

Cuomo: Store Sold Soldiers Overpriced Electronics

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 06:16 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday sued companies he claims preyed on Fort Drum soldiers by selling them laptops, televisions and other electronic goods on credit at wildly inflated prices.

Cuomo says the SmartBuy store that operated out of Salmon Run Mall in Watertown sold products that were marked up by as much as 325 percent above the original retail price and financed the sales through automatic deductions from soldiers' payrolls.

Cuomo claims that SmartBuy targeted military members and sold them products that actually were bought from other retailers such as Costco and Walmart. Soldiers also ended up paying much more than the stated interest rates because of undisclosed markups and a "kickback" retained by the financing end of the scheme, he said.

The lawsuit names three lenders and their affiliated companies. None of the lenders involved is licensed in any state, Cuomo said.

In one case from last year, a soldier now serving in Iraq purchased a 47" LCD TV for $4,632.17, plus an additional 12 percent interest. His wife later found the same model for sale at Sam's Club for about $1,100, according to Cuomo.

A lawyer for SmartBuy, Gabe Nugent, said in a statement that the store does not deceive its customers. He promised a "vigorous defense" of the lawsuit.

"SmartBuy looks forward to continuing to service members (of) our military, those at Fort Drum in New York and elsewhere," Nugent said.

Cuomo said the SmartBuy shop in Watertown is closed. But in a letter to military officials, he said his investigation has revealed that other SmartBuy stores located near other Army posts use the same sales practices. The stores listed by Cuomo are in:

— Fayetteville, N.C., near Fort Bragg at Cross Creek Mall.

— Killeen, Texas, near Fort Hood at Killeen Mall.

— Colorado Springs, Colo., near Fort Carson at The Citadel.

— Lawton, Okla., near Fort Sill at Central Mall.

— El Paso, Texas, near Fort Bliss at Cielo Vista Mall.

— Savannah, Ga., near Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield at Oglethorpe Mall.

Cuomo aides say a store in San Diego, Calif., near Camp Pendleton at Horton Plaza, closed early this year.

The defendants operated a similar scheme in Tennessee, which led to a 2009 court order shutting down the operation there, Cuomo said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Full Holiday Menu for Obamas, Plus 6 Pies

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 20:59 PM

President Barack Obama spent a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House where the belly-stuffing menu featured all the holi . . .

NFL Urges Lame-Duck Congress to Renew Terrorism Risk Insurance

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 20:21 PM

The National Football League has joined a growing coalition of business groups across the country to urge Congress to pa . . .

Alaska Pot Backer Ordered to Comply With Subpoena

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 19:11 PM

A campaign-finance investigation is moving forward against an Alaska television reporter who quit her job on-air and vow . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved