Dating service shot down in N.Y.

Keith Loria Jul. 12, 2010, 11:21am


MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has won a lawsuit against a dating service that was accused of fraudulent and illegal business practices.

The suit against Great Date Now, Meet Over Drinks and the company's owners, including Gary Ferone, alleged that the service collected as much as $5,500 in membership fees, despite the law only allowing a maximum of $1,000, the Times Herald-Record of Middletown reported.

According to the report, state Supreme Court Judge Richard Liebowitz has found Ferone and the service guilty of the deceptive business practices that Cuomo's suit alleged.

"(Ferone) professes ignorance of the applicable law and avers that the purpose of the statute is to protect the lonely lower-classes from predatory social referral services, and not the 'affluent and well-heeled communities' his companies serviced, which presumably do not need protection," Liebowitz wrote in his decision, the report says.

"Contrary to Ferone's assertions, ignorance of the law is not a defense. Moreover, (the law) does not discriminate between the affluent and the not so affluent members of society."

Cuomo is seeking $720,000 to clients on nearly 700 contracts. The company, now bankrupt, and Ferone are also barred from doing business in the state again unless they post a $250,000 surety bond, the report added.

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