RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 46,000 veterans and service members across the country who were duped by a New York-based jeweler will receive a total of $34.2 million in financial relief, Attorney General Josh Stein said.
As part of the agreement Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York that was signed by the attorneys general in 18 states, Harris Jewelry will refund service members for the warranties they were tricked into purchasing, stop collecting on more than $20 million in bad debt, correct credit scores that were harmed, dissolve their businesses and pay $1 million to all 18 states.
“Companies that exploit our military service members are preying on the best among us,” Stein said. “I’m pleased that this business will provide financial relief to service members it harmed and that it will no longer operate and scam people ever again.”
The jeweler operated retail stores in Fayetteville near Fort Bragg and in Jacksonville near Camp Lejeune.
In North Carolina, Harris Jewelry will stop collecting on $1.8 million in outstanding debt held by 1,191 service members, will refund $1.4 million to 5,098 service members and vacate $40,232 in judgments for 37 service members.
Service members who entered into a predatory financing loan with the jeweler from January 2014 until this month are eligible for restitution if they paid for warranties, Stein’s office said.