Bryan Cohen Jun. 2, 2014, 6:28pm

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced a lawsuit on Friday against a private school and its leadership for allegedly defrauding parents and donors by falsely claiming the school was not-for-profit and tuition-free.

Rise & Shine Exceptional Services LLC, its owner Desiree Truett and Timothy Truett allegedly misrepresented the for-profit status of Rise & Shine and the tuition it charged parents interested in enrolling their children at the school. The defendants allegedly represented the school was tuition-free when Rise & Shine actually did charge tuition and issued tuition receipts to parents.

Many parents who were recipients of the Arizona Department of Education's Empowerment Scholarship Accounts were allegedly forced to use the scholarships to pay Rise & Shine's tuition.

"The use of deceptive acts or practices or misrepresentations in connection with the sale or advertisement of goods or services is unlawful under the Consumer Fraud Act," Horne said. "Our office will continue to take action against anyone who engages in such unlawful acts."

The defendants also allegedly misrepresented Rise & Shine's tuition-free status in connection with solicitations for donations and other fundraising efforts. Rise & Shine allegedly used the false claim to generate community goodwill and numerous donations of goods, services, and money.

Horne's lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting Rise & Shine and the Truetts from engaging in the alleged practices. The suit also seeks restitution for parents and donors, disgorgement of profits, civil penalties, costs and attorney fees.

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