Update: Cuomo Files 'SmartBuy' Suit
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the company that operated 'SmartBuy,' an electronics retailer.
Cuomo accuses 'Smartbuy' - which operated a store in Watertown's Salmon Run Mall - of targeting members of the military for finance agreements that jacked up the price of computers and other electronics by a staggering amount.
“SmartBuy is part of a national network of companies and individuals that seek to profit by defrauding members of the military,” said Cuomo.
“Our lawsuit not only seeks to bar them from ever doing business again in the state, but also to vindicate the countless soldiers who were preyed upon and defrauded by SmartBuy and its affiliated companies.”
"The sales were made only to members of the military through monthly direct withdrawals from payroll, known as “allotments,” and backed up with agreements giving the company access to the soldiers’ bank accounts. The soldiers were rarely told the final price of the product up front, nor was it explained that they were really opening a line of credit," according to Cuomo's statement.
"If a soldier defaulted, SmartBuy and its affiliates illegally contacted the soldiers’ commanding officers. The tactic put service members in an untenable situation because Army regulations forbid soldiers from putting themselves in a financially precarious situation."
(For more on the lawsuit, read Cuomo's statement here.)
Earlier this year, the SmartBuy in Watertown abruptly shut its doors after it learned the attorney general's office was investigating.
SmartBuy is still operating. A lawyer for the company released a statement Tuesday saying that the business has done nothing wrong, and that it has provided valuable service to members of the military and families.
Monday, May 20, 2013, Watertown, NY
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