County residents focus of state AG consumer lawsuit
PROCTORVILLE — Two eastern Lawrence County residents and a man from Kentucky are the subject of a consumer protection lawsuit filed by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray,
Vicky Perdue of 7955 County Road 107, Lot 15A, Proctorville, William S. Terry, 101 Ferguson St., South Point, and Herbert L. Terry, 55 State Highway 1910, Grayson, Ky., were named in the suit filed in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Thursday.
“These individuals created a sham business to prey on the kindness of strangers,” Cordray said in a release. “They represented that they were conducting a fundraiser and consumers could purchase laptops and other electronics at huge discounts to support a camp for children with autism or special needs. Instead, they pocketed the money and many consumers who purchased equipment never received it and never received refunds.”
All three were listed as doing business as Mikayla’s Place, which is not registered to do business in Ohio and has a Sandy Hook, Ky., post office box, the suit states.
The trio is accused of selling computers and other electronic goods to consumers in the county, according to the lawsuit.
“Defendants represented to consumers that Mikayla’s Place was a non-profit charitable organization, founded to raise money for the benefit of autistic and special needs children,” the lawsuit states.
The three told customers they were affiliated with Autism Speaks, a non-profit Delaware company, which was a false statement, according to the suit.
“Defendants collected full payment as deposits for goods from consumers without disclosing the terms and conditions of when and how the deposits would be refunded to the consumers,” the suit alleges. “Defendants accepted deposits from consumers for the purchase of goods and then failed to deliver the goods for which consumers paid and failed to refund their deposits. In many instances, defendants failed to provide the goods consumers ordered.”
Cordray said that his office received 54 complaints from customers in Lawrence, Scioto, Summit, Ashland, Boyd, Gallia and Lake counties in Ohio and Kentucky.
He described Mikayla’s Place as a front to defraud consumers of more than $15,000. Customers allegedly lost between $50 to $10,000 to the organization.
The lawsuit asks that fines of a total of $125,000, or $25,000 for each of five counts, be levied. The fines can be paid jointly or separately by the trio, according to Ted Hart of the Attorney General’s office.
This summer the West Virginia Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the three for violating the state’s consumer protection laws over Mikayla’s Place.
Currently William Terry, 50, is in the Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Ky., on probation violation charges.
The whereabouts of Perdue and Herbert Terry are unknown.