The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has filed suit against buy-here, pay-here dealership Auto Now, on the grounds that the Wilkes-Barre dealer — and its owner — knowingly defrauded consumers by advertising a non-existent credit restoration program.
The lawsuit names Auto Now’s owner, Thomas Hashem, as a defendant, a move that is in line with the state’s increasingly aggressive stance on consumer financial protections that Sam Mirarchi, senior deputy attorney general and assistant director of litigation for the Bureau of Consumer Protection, discussed at CBA Live in April.
As such, the attorney general is demanding that Hashem provide full restitution to affected customers, pay penalties for each violation, dissolve Auto Now, and be barred from engaging in the auto business in the state.
Additional deceptive practices listed in the suit include misrepresenting the condition of vehicles sold, such as selling vehicles the dealer knew wouldn’t pass inspection, making false claims that its cars were serviced by licensed technicians, and placing warranties on cars that did not qualify.
Auto Now, which also does business under the name RCMS Auto Sales Inc., was founded in 2011, according to data from the Better Business Bureau.