N.Y. AG's settlement provides refunds for union members

By Bryan Cohen | Feb 13, 2014

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement on Tuesday with a credit services company and its president to resolve allegations it used deceptive advertisements to target union members.

The Dallas-based Union Workers Credit Services Inc. and Joe Malazzo, the company's president, allegedly targeted union members with deceptive advertisements that appeared to offer credit cards with a $10,000 credit limit in return for a $37 fee. Consumers allegedly did not receive a credit card, but rather, a line of credit the consumers could only use to buy items from a catalogue of merchandise offered by UWCS.

"Targeting hardworking union members with false credit offers in these tough times is a shameful practice we refuse to tolerate in New York," Schneiderman. "Today's settlement will give restitution to every New Yorker who fell victim to this scam and ensure that no one else is exposed to this deceptive scheme. I encourage New Yorkers who were deceived to contact UWCS for a refund."

Schneiderman filed suit against UWCS and Malazzo in April, alleging the defendants targeted financially vulnerable consumers with deceptive direct mail solicitations and internet advertisements. Consumers in cities throughout the state received the allegedly deceptive solicitations.

Under the terms of the settlement, UWCS must provide full refunds to victims who paid fees based on the advertisements and pay $50,000 in penalties, fees and costs to the state.

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