WORCESTER, Mass. (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced an order on Thursday against the former owners of Riverside Mitsubishi in Auburn for allegedly violating a previous order and failing to make a final payment to the state.
Coakley's office filed a contempt proceeding in November against Brenda Rivernider and Darryl Rivernider for allegedly selling cars in the state, which violated a court order, and for allegedly failing to make a final $100,000 payment owed to the state from a 2005 consent judgment. A judge ordered the defendants to pay $100,000 in restitution and $200,000 in penalties.
"The defendants blatantly ignored a court order and attempted to avoid accountability for their actions," Coakley said. "We are pleased that this judgment will help us recover the remaining restitution owed to consumers whose hard earned money was stolen nearly seven years ago."
The Riverniders were ordered to stop selling cars in the state through others or directly under the terms of a 2005 consent judgment. Coakley's office alleged that on at least five separate occasions during August and September the Riverniders were involved in selling vehicles in Massachusetts.
Worcester Superior Court ruled that the Riverniders violated the judgment when they sold a 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis, a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant and a 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan through Robert J. Appleton, Jr., the owner of Your Auto Expert, in August. In addition, the court ruled that the Riverniders did not make their final $100,000 payment due under the consent judgment to the state.
The Riverniders allegedly lured customers into buying cars with false promises of sweetheart refinancing deals and paying off balances. The Riverniders, however, allegedly never paid or delayed paying off loan balances on trade-in vehicles, denied the promised refinancing deals and failed to give consumers the titles to their cars.