January 28, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
GENERALS OFFICE SETTLES WITH MD INTERNET AUCTION SELLER WHO
DIDNT DELIVER COMPUTERS
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Consumer
Protection Division has reached a settlement with a Germantown man
who offered computers through Internet auctions, but did not deliver
the computers to consumers who paid him. Under the settlement, Michael
Rymer will refund money to the consumers, be subject to a $20,000
penalty, and have to post a surety bond for any future Internet
is a Maryland resident who conducts business via the Internet including,
but not limited to, offering and selling computers in online auctions
to consumers. The division alleged that Rymer violated the Maryland
Consumer Protection Act by accepting payments for computers that
he sold to consumers via online auctions and failing to actually
supply the computers, and by promising but not providing refunds.
settlement requires Rymer to make full restitution to consumers
who paid him for computers they did not receive. The division estimates
there are dozens of consumers who are owed an average of $1,800.
Rymer is also prohibited from selling consumer goods via the Internet
unless he either posts a $20,000 surety bond with the division or
provides a letter of credit or cash deposit in the amount of $20,000,
which would be used to compensate consumers harmed in the future.
also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $20,000, with the provision
that if he fully complies with the terms of the settlement for three
years, the penalty will be waived.
am pleased that we were able to get restitution for consumers in
this case," Attorney General Curran said. "However, as
always, I remind consumers that buying items from unknown individuals
through Internet auctions can be risky."
encourages consumers who are thinking of participating in online
auctions to visit his website, www.oag.state.md.us,
to learn how to avoid the potential pitfalls that exist.