BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) — Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced June 29 that his Consumer Protection Division has entered into a settlement with Deep Creek Mountain Land Company LLC, NLP of Maryland LLC, and Harry Patten (together, “NLP”), that resolves allegations of deceptive advertisements and misleading consumers.
According to the division, NLP placed ads notifying consumers that they could purchase a new log cabin and plot of land for as little as $119,000. Consumers, however, would allegedly receive either a partially completed cabin or a kit containing the materials to construct a cabin instead. Consumers would therefore end up paying more than $200,000 to complete the home, the division said.
The defendants also purportedly offered a “lake access” home site with a free boat and boat slip. The home was allegedly actually miles from any lake and the free boat slip was just a dry slip in a marina parking lot that would cost the consumer more than $1,900 per year to access.
“Businesses cannot lure consumers in with false promises and exaggerated claims,” Frosh said. “Consumers should be able to trust that what they see in an advertisement is what they’ll get, not be subject to a bait and switch.”
The companies agreed to change their advertising practices, pay $200,000 in civil penalties and pay $10,000 in case costs.