Attorney General Gansler Orders Rental Listing Company
to Cease Illegal Practices
Maryland Rentals Must Pay $735,000 in Restitution, Penalties and
Costs for Advertising Fictitious Rental Properties
BALTIMORE, MD (May
15, 2008) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today announced
that the Consumer Protection Division has ordered
U.S. Rental Network, LLC, a/k/a Caruso Publishing, LLC, located
at 6425 Harford Road, and the company’s owner, Christopher
Caruso, a Michigan resident, to cease offering illegal rental referral
services. The Division ordered U.S. Rentals and its owner to return
all of the fees they charged consumers. Under the Division’s
order, 6,100 consumers are entitled to restitution totaling $455,250.
The company and Caruso were also ordered to pay penalties and costs
The Division found
that U.S. Rental and Caruso advertised rental properties that
did not actually exist in local newspapers. When
consumers responded to the ads listing attractive houses with low
rents, instead of being offered the advertised properties, they
were sold a rental listing service that cost $75. The company represented
its services were “100% guaranteed.” However, when
consumers who purchased the company’s service could not find
houses to rent, U.S. Rentals refused to refund their fees.
“U.S. Rentals took advantage of consumers looking for affordable
rental properties for their families,” said Attorney General
Gansler. “When businesses offer a house for rent, they must
have the ability to actually rent the property, at the advertised
The Attorney General’s Office has previously brought actions
against two other companies - Maryland Rentals, LLC and U.S. Rental
Network, LLC - for falsely advertising affordable rental housing.
In making today’s announcement, Attorney General Gansler
thanked Assistant Attorneys General Phil Ziperman and Catherine
Dowling for their work on the case.