Miyares sends restitution money to people deceived by Madison County business
RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Dozens of people deceived by a Madison County company claiming to sell service dogs will be receiving restitution checks in the mail.
Attorney General Jason Miyares announced on Friday that his office has mailed checks worth a total of more than $190,000 to 94 consumers.
According to a release, this is part of two judgments in a lawsuit filed against Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers and founder Charles “Dan” Warren, Jr.
The company claimed to sell service dogs to consumers across the country, and it was sued for alleged violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions law.
“Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, Inc. sold dogs that purportedly could assist people with various conditions such as diabetes, autism, seizure disorders, or post-traumatic stress. I’m proud that we are now able to return some money to these consumers, thanks to the dedication and commitment of my Consumer Protection Section,” said Miyares.
However, consumers who bought dogs received ones that were poorly-trained puppies with significant behavioral challenges and inadequate skills or training.
In an amended complaint, Warren and SDWR were accused of misleading customers, charitable donors, and the public about aspects of the business’ payment structure, its affiliation with local police departments and Warren’s military service.
The release says the Commonwealth got a judgment against SDWR in Madison County Circuit Court in August 2021, after the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the Western District of Virginia.
It also says that is when a Consent Judgment settlement was reached with Warren.
The restitution funds now in the mail are a part of those judgments, and the sources of those funds are the SDWR bankruptcy estate and a settlement payment from Warren.