Bryan Cohen Apr. 16, 2013, 7:06pm

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a lawsuit Monday against a Dallas-based company and its president for allegedly issuing deceptive credit card solicitations.

Union Workers Credit Services Inc. and Joe Malazzo, the company's president, allegedly targeted union members with solicitations and advertisements claiming to offer a general purpose credit card. After paying an upfront fee of $37.00 or $95.00, consumers allegedly found the card could only be used to buy items from Union Workers Credit Service's limited merchandise catalogue. Some consumers allegedly paid the fee and never received anything from the company.

"Targeting and ripping off workers through deceptive advertising is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the state of New York," Schneiderman said. "This company will now pay the price for preying on consumers who were duped into signing up for credit cards that were essentially worthless. In these challenging economic times, New Yorkers are working hard to make ends meet and my office will continue to fight everyday to protect them from false advertising and fraudulent business practices."

Schneiderman's office received hundreds of complaints about Union Workers Credit Services from consumers in Rochester, Ithaca, Buffalo, Long Island and other cities throughout the state. While the direct mail solicitations and web advertisements promised consumers could receive refunds within 60 days if not satisfied with the card, the company allegedly failed to provide refunds upon receiving consumer requests.

Schneiderman's lawsuit seeks full restitution for New Yorkers who paid upfront fees, a court order prohibiting the company from engaging in deceptive business practices and false advertising and the payment of penalties and fees. The potential penalty for each deceptive solicitation sent by the company is $5,000.

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