BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) – Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced on Wednesday that his office has reached a settlement with a private investigation firm over allegations that it took money from clients and never provided services.
Donaldson Investigations LLC, an Anne Arundel County-based private investigation company, and Jerry Donaldson, its owner, were also allegedly debited money from clients without telling them first.
“Consumers need to know when the companies they hire to perform a service take money out of their bank accounts,” Gansler said. “We are pleased that Donaldson has agreed to change the way it does business and resolve the complaints we have received.”
Although Donaldson Investigations denied it violated any laws, the company agreed to stop withdrawing money from its customers’ bank accounts without letting its customers know in writing at least 10 days in advance.
The company also agreed to deal with the complaints that the Consumer Protection Division has received, or that come in within the next five years, using the attorney general’s arbitration program.
The settlement also calls for the company to pay $5,000 in legal fees and $5,000 as a civil penalty, which can increase to $20,000 if the company doesn’t comply with the agreement.