HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's latest lawsuit might be one of his most personal.
Blumenthal claimed Wednesday that two companies have been wrongfully using his name, among others, to promote themselves. The companies are Mediations, Inc., and Innovations NE, LLC.
"Mediations and Innovations innovated nothing more than bogus claims and an illegal loan scam that cheated consumers out of thousands of dollars," Blumenthal said. "These companies, essentially a one-man operation, promised loans and other services on the condition that consumers pay up front deposits and fees, typically a percentage of the supposed loan.
"Consumers paid thousands of dollars, but their loans never materialized, and the company president (Michael Petriccione) hid, failing to return consumer calls."
A flyer from the companies listed several prominent individuals as references. Blumenthal's name was included, as was attorney Ira Grudberg's and Michael Adanti's.
Grudberg never gave the companies permission to use his name, and Adanti, the former president of Southern Connecticut State University, passed away in July 2005.
The lawsuit alleges Mediations and Innovations claimed to provide investment loans of $100,000-$700 million and mediation services for consumers, though the companies have taken in more than $100,000 in deposits and fees from consumers for whom he has failed to provide loans.
Also, Petriccione represented himself as an attorney, which he is not, Blumenthal said.
"This company blatantly disregarded consumer rights and unconscionably exploited various individuals - myself included - by naming 'references' who never provided permission that their names be used in order to lure victims into the illegal scheme," Blumenthal said.