Baker earns default judgment against tour company

Nick Rees Feb. 3, 2010, 4:40pm


ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) - Georgia consumers will see $181,450 in restitution from a tour company that allegedly financially harmed consumers through its violations of the Fair Business Practices Act, state Attorney General Thurbert Baker has announced.

CPC Tours Inc., doing business as Catholic Pilgrimage Center Tours Inc., and Manfred Reinhard, its principal, were ordered to pay the restitution and $240,000 in civil restitution after failing to respond to a lawsuit filed by Baker alleging violations of the Fair Business Practices Act.

Cobb County Superior Court Judge S. Lark Ingram found the defendants to be in default after they failed to respond to Baker's Oct. 29 lawsuit. Judge Ingram further found that the State had proven that consumers had been financially harmed by the defendants' actions.

Ingram also agreed with Baker's request to permanently bar CPC Tours and Reinhard from making deceptive claims, soliciting persons for tour that are different from what is advertised, misrepresenting their refund policies and falsely implying that they have official Church approval.

"Today's court order is the first step in making whole the consumers harmed by the deceptive business practices of Manfred Reinhard and Catholic Pilgrimage Center Tours," Baker said, adding that, "(m)y office will make collecting this judgment for consumers a top priority, and we will use the court's permanent injunction against the defendants to protect Georgians from further victimization by Reinhard or his companies."

Reinhard is no longer in Georgia, though Joe Doyle, administrator of the governor's Office of Consumers has said that, "We intend to proceed aggressively to collect on this judgment."

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