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For Immediate Release
June 25, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

ATTORNEY GENERAL CURRAN ORDERS MEDICAL SUPPLY COMPANY TO CEASE VIOLATING THE MARYLAND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has issued a cease and desist order against a Baltimore company and its owner who took money from consumers for medical equipment such as wheelchairs and chairlifts but failed to actually provide the equipment.

The company, Allied Home Healthcare (a/k/a Access Medical Equipment Company), 22 Manor Springs Court, Glen Arm, Maryland, and its owner, Paris G. George, were ordered to return the monies they collected from consumers for equipment they failed to provide, as well as pay the Division a $75,000 penalty and its investigative costs. The Division's order also contained injunctive relief that requires the business, among other things, to post a $30,000 surety bond or letter of credit with the Attorney General's Office to ensure that consumers receive their medical equipment.

Allied Home Healthcare offered a wide range of medical supplies to consumers throughout Maryland. After receiving dozens of complaints from consumers, the Consumer Protection Division charged the company and its owner with violating the Maryland Consumer Protection Act as a result of their repeated failure to provide consumers with the equipment they were sold. Following a hearing, the Division found that the Mr. George and his company violated the Consumer Protection Act by accepting consumers' payments and failing to provide them with the ordered medical equipment or refunds of their monies. The company and Mr. George were also found to have violated the Consumer Protection Act by misrepresenting their ability to supply the ordered medical equipment, failing to notify customers of their cancellation and refund rights under the Maryland Door-to-Door Sales Act and Maryland Merchandise Delivery Law, performing home improvement services without possessing a home improvement contractor's license, illegally charging consumers with sales tax for medical equipment that is exempted from such taxes under Maryland law and failing to remit sales taxes paid by consumers to the Comptroller of the Treasury's Office.

"This company and its owner preyed on extremely vulnerable persons who are ill or suffering from disabilities," said Attorney General Curran. "Consumers not only lost their money, but were also denied access to much needed medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and chairlifts."

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