Framingham Online News

Framingham Used Car Dealer $925,000 Deceptive Sales Practice Judgment

Filed under: Business,Legal Notices by News Staff at 7:53 pm on November 20, 2019

[photo] MA Lemon Law CarFRAMINGHAM, MA - A used car dealership based in Framingham and its owner have agreed to a $925,000 judgment that includes restitution to consumers to resolve allegations that the business engaged in unfair and deceptive sales practices that violated Massachusetts consumer protection law.

According to the AG’s complaint, filed along with a consent judgment that was entered in Middlesex Superior Court last week, New England AutoMax Inc., AutoMax Preowned Inc., and Auto Max Inc. (AutoMax) and their owner Howard J. Wilner allegedly violated the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act by misrepresenting important information about the condition, origin, and history of used cars it sold, selling add-on service contracts to consumers that did not cover the cars they were purchasing, falsifying down payments, and adding undisclosed fees onto car sales transactions.

“AutoMax and its owner purposely kept their customers in the dark about the condition and history of the cars they sold and charged customers illegal and unnecessary fees,” said AG Healey. “As a result of this settlement, customers who were misled by AutoMax will get money back and the company will stop its illegal practices.”

The AG’s Office began its investigation after receiving several complaints about unfair sales practices at AutoMax, including selling cars with invalid add-on warranties and padding sales with undisclosed fees or charges. The AG’s Office also alleges the company and its owner engaged in unfair and deceptive acts, including:

  • Failing to comply with mandatory requirements to disclose when cars were previously used as a lease, rental, or taxicab in advertisements and on purchase contracts.
  • Misrepresenting that cars manufactured for the Canadian market were covered by a manufacturer’s warranty and selling additional add-on service contracts at a cost of up to $3,000 that were invalid due to the foreign origin of the cars.
  • Adding hidden charges of $100 to $200 for customers seeking to trade in vehicles and payoff their existing loan as part of a sale.
  • Falsifying down payments on financing applications.
  • Charging document preparation fees for the preparation of documents that the company used to implement its deceptive schemes.

Under the terms of the consent judgment, AutoMax and Wilner will pay $750,000 in restitution for affected consumers and agreed to significant injunctive terms, including that the business comply with prior use disclosure regulations, disclose the foreign origin of the cars they sell and the implications on any warranty or add-on products, and ensure accuracy when completing consumer loan applications. The business is also prohibited from charging customers undisclosed or inflated fees. Additionally, the consent judgment includes a $175,000 suspended penalty for any violation of the settlement’s injunctive terms within three years.

Massachusetts consumer protection law requires used auto dealers to disclose prior use as a lease, rental, or taxicab on the purchase contract for all automobiles and in advertisements for automobiles. Used auto dealers must also disclose all material information that could impact a consumer’s decision to purchase a vehicle, and dealers have a duty to be transparent with consumers about the terms of a deal or sale.

The AG’s Office has handled several cases of unfair and deceptive practices in the auto industry in recent years. In December 2018, the AG’s Office settled a lawsuit with F&R Auto, a Westport used auto dealership that sold unsafe and defective vehicles to unsuspecting customers, and Sensible Auto Lending, a lender that facilitated deceptive sales at F&R Auto. The Office sued JD Byrider for misleading consumers and selling them high-priced, low-quality cars financed with high-cost loans, a package that consistently leads to repossession. The AG’s Office has also shut down a dealership, Auto Number One, for selling unsafe cars and obtained restitution and injunctive relief from another dealership, Auto Drive One, for routinely selling defective and unreliable cars.

Consumers who are eligible for restitution as part of this settlement will be contacted directly by the AG’s Office.

For tips or questions about the auto industry, consumers may call the Attorney General’s consumer hotline at 617-727-8400 or file a complaint with the office.

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Kimberly McDonald, Ann E. Lynch, and Lisa Dyen, and Deputy Chief Shennan Kavanagh, all of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division; Investigator Anthony Crespi of the AG’s Civil Investigations Division; and Senior Digital Evidence Analyst Brenna Casey of the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab.

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Former Middlesex Assistant DA Charged with Trading Drugs for Confidential Info

Filed under: Legal Notices by News Staff at 6:43 am on January 9, 2015

FRAMINGHAM, MA - A former Middlesex Assistant District Attorney allegedly violated conflict of interest laws and has been indicted in connection with misuse of his position, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. He allegedly traded information in exchange for oxycodone pills.

Stephen Gilpatric, age 35, of Somerville, was indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury on charges of Unlawful Gratuity, Unlawfully Communicating Criminal Offender Record Information, and Receiving Unlawful Compensation. He will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on Friday, January 9th, 2015 at 9:00a.m.

Gilpatric served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office (MDAO) from November 2007 until October 2014, when the AG’s Office began an investigation. He most recently worked within the MDAO’s Public Protection, Anti-terrorism, Corruption and Technology (PACT) Unit, where he handled a variety of specialized prosecutions, including public corruption, white collar crime and major narcotics cases. The AG’s Office received the full cooperation of the MDAO throughout the investigation.

The investigation revealed that in October 2011, Gilpatric allegedly provided his drug supplier with information that he obtained through his position as an Assistant District Attorney in exchange for drugs. He allegedly gave this drug supplier sensitive information about another man, including a Board of Probation record, a police report, a photograph, and other personal identifying information, in exchange for oxycodone pills.

Authorities further allege that Gilpatric also provided additional confidential law enforcement information—a criminal record and an organizational chart of a drug ring—to this same drug supplier and his brother, hoping to receive pills in exchange.

At this time, the AG’s investigation has no evidence to suggest Gilpatric provided information related to any criminal cases he was personally investigating or prosecuting.

Additionally, in August 2011, Gilpatric allegedly made an agreement with a woman to help get her son’s commercial driver’s license back, which was revoked following a guilty plea in a criminal case, in exchange for $1,500.

Authorities allege that Gilpatric was spending hundreds of dollars a week to feed his addiction to Oxycontin.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General James O’Brien, Chief of Attorney General Coakley's Public Integrity Division, and Assistant Attorney General Dean Mazzone, Deputy Chief of the AG’s Criminal Bureau, with assistance from Sallyann Nelligan, Chief of the AG’s Financial Investigations Division, State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, and the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab.

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Storage Auction in Saxonville Friday Sept. 23rd

Filed under: General Interest,Legal Notices by News Staff at 1:41 am on September 22, 2011
ExtraSpace Storage, Framingham, MA

ExtraSpace Storage is located next to the Roxbury Carpet Mill Building at 1590 Concord St., in the Saxonville area of Framingham, MA.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - ExtraSpace Storage will be auctioning off several storage lots, and "the personal goods stored therein", on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 12:30 PM at their 1590 Concord St., Saxonville  location.

According to a public notice ExtraSpace will sell the items to satisfy liens, they will be selling the following lots which may include, but are not limited to; general household items, furniture, boxes of personal property, clothing, electronics, appliances, etc.

Unit Numbers - Owner Names:

  • Unit C326 - Herbert Mack
  • Unit F103 - Marc Mariano
  • Unit G107- Jose Duarte
  • Unit H117 - Marjorie Kaplan ...[read more]

Addilson Belknap Mansion Back on Auction Block

Filed under: General Interest,Legal Notices by Randy Harris at 6:45 pm on April 29, 2011
35 Waveney Road, auction January 27, 2011

This fire damaged 22 room mansion located at 35 Waveney Road will be auctioned Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 2:00PM.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - The Town of Framingham has ordered the historic Addilson Belknap property at 35 Waveney Road be auctioned off to recoup back taxes owed on the fire damage mansion.

The property which was was originally scheduled be auctioned off  in January, has now been set to go on the auction block Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 2:00PM(bidder registration begins at 1:30PM on site).

Those interested in the 13 bedroom, 4 1/2 bath, two-story "22 rooms-in-all" Greek-revival, 8,000 sq. ft. style home which was originally built in 1699 and presently sits on approximately 1.65 acres of prime North Framingham real estate must ...[read more]


LEGAL NOTICE: Garbarino Package Store License Transfer

Filed under: Legal Notices by News Staff at 5:49 am on April 2, 2011

LEGAL NOTICE

PUBLIC HEARING

Garbarino Package Store - 438 WAVERLY STREET

Transfer and Change of Location of All Alcohol Retail Package Store License

A public hearing will be held in the Peter W. Ablondi Meeting Room, Memorial Building, Framingham, MA, on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at 7:00 P.M. under the provisions of Chapter 138, Section 15 of the M.G.L. on the application of Table and Vine, Inc. for the Transfer and Change of Location to 341 Cochituate Road of the All Alcohol Retail Package Store License held by Dom Garbarino Package Store, Inc. dba Garbarino Package Store, 438 Waverly Street, Framingham, Massachusetts.

Approximately 41,955 sq. ft. of retail space on one floor of the Route 30 Mall. Retail floor area will contain wine racks, shelving, beer/wine cooler, gourmet food area, and wine rooms. Storage area containing employee area and merchandise storage. Entrance and exit from Route 30 Mall parking lot. Emergency exits in rear and on side of building.

Dennis L. Giombetti
Laurie Lee
Charles J. Sisitsky
A. Ginger Esty
Jason Smith
Framingham Board of Selectmen

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