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Thursday, November 14, 2019

New Jersey alleges auto group used used 'bait-and-switch' tactics against consumers

By Mark Iandolo | May 7, 2018

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NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) — New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced a lawsuit May 1 against 21st Century Auto Group Inc. and owner Dmitry Zeldin for allegedly deceiving consumers despite already settling an agreement not to do so.

“Businesses can’t just sign a settlement agreement and then go right back to the same dishonest practices that got them into trouble in the first place. They must abide by the reforms set forth in the agreement, especially those requiring them to stop deceiving customers,” Grewal said in a statement. “Businesses that demonstrate an inability or unwillingness to comply our consumer protection laws must face severe penalties for their repeated violations.”

According to allegations, Zeldin and his company would sell cars to consumers without disclosing prior damage to the cars. Additionally, the defendants would allegedly use “bait-and-switch” tactics by marketing one price to consumers and then not honoring those prices later during the sale. 

“Not only did the terms of the prior settlement fail to deter 21st Century Auto Group from continuing its deceptive practices, our investigation revealed the dealership’s alleged conduct has become even more egregious,” Kevin Jespersen, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, said in a statement. “Mr. Zeldin is going to learn the hard way that we have zero tolerance for those who flout the law by blatantly taking advantage of consumers over and over again.” 

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New Jersey Attorney General's Office