A former Cleburne County, Ark., boat dealer was ordered to pay $170,000 in civil penalties and restitution following a default judgment issued on Thursday in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox issued the judgment against Gary Eubanks, owner of Edgemont Marine, after he allegedly withheld money earned from consignment sales from consignees. Fox ordered Eubanks to pay $90,000 to the state for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Acts and $82,630 to affected consumers. He was also ordered to pay $5,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.
Eubanks allegedly entered into contracts with consumers to sell their personal watercraft with a 10 percent commission. He agreed to sell the boats at his business on consignment; however in at least nine cases, Eubanks allegedly never paid the owners of the boats their 90 percent as agreed. Eubanks was accused of using Craiglist, newspaper and radio advertisements to find consignees.
“The defendant created impossible situations for both buyers and sellers with his illegal actions, since boat sellers were left without the proceeds of sales and buyers were unable to obtain a clear title for their purchases,” McDaniel said. “Consumers need to have confidence in the transactions they make at Arkansas businesses, and that’s why my Consumer Protection Division continues to aggressively pursue actions in instances such as these.”