Robbie Hargett Jan. 13, 2016, 1:25pm


ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) – An Ohio restaurant and a California clothing store are suing a national merchant acquirer and payment card processor over claims it has fraudulently reaped millions of dollars from clients by inflating certain credit card fees.

Champs Sports Bar & Grill and Fashionadvice.com, doing business as Sam Malouf, individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class-action lawsuit Jan. 4 in the Atlanta Division of the Northern District of Georgia against Mercury Payment Systems, alleging fraudulent omission, fraudulent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

For years, the suit states, Mercury has gradually inflated certain fees imposed by VISA and MasterCard, allegedly systematically defrauding its small- and medium-sized client base while reaping tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in gains.

The suit claims Mercury inflated access fees and interchange fees, which only the card associations have access to increase or decrease, without notifying the plaintiffs and others in the class.

According to the suit, Mercury inflated access fees from 1 cent per transaction to as much as 4 cents per transaction, depriving each plaintiff in the class of thousands of dollars. The suit further states Mercury imposed unwarranted junk fees that none of the plaintiffs agreed to pay.

The plaintiffs and others in the class seek actual damages, return of all sums, punitive damages, interests, attorneys' fees and costs of the suit, together to exceed $5 million. They are represented by attorney Kenneth S. Canfield of Doffermyre Shields Canfield & Knowles in Atlanta; attorneys Adam J. Levitt and Kyle J. McGee of Grant & Eisenhofer in Chicago and Wilmington, Delaware; and attorneys Mark DiCello and Mark Abramowitz of The DiCello Law Firm in Mentor, Ohio.

Atlanta Division of the Northern District of Georgia Case number 1:16-CV-00012-MHC

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