News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

October 19, 1999

County Executive Steinhaus Takes Action on Consumer Complaints

Poughkeepsie, NY- County Executive William R. Steinhaus today was joined by Dutchess County Director of
Consumer Affairs, Nelson Kranker to highlight recent activities undertaken by the county Consumer Affairs Department.

"We have aggressively pursued consumer fraud complaints in an effort to protect our residents," said County Executive Steinhaus. "Recently the County Consumer Affairs Department has had successful Administrative Hearing against a number of businesses in the area and was able to return money to residents."

The County Executive and Mr. Kranker pointed to a number of achievements by the County Consumer Affairs Department. Their actions have forced a contractor, after being summoned to an administrative hearing, to return $2,500 to a senior citizen. Another Senior citizen had $1,850 returned by a contractor after a New York State Supreme Court Default Judgement was issued against the contractor based on a hearing decision by the Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs.

"The County received a Court Judgement against a local photographer for $2,700 for monies owed to county residents based on a hearing decision," Steinhaus noted. "And $1,400 was returned to one homeowner and $5000 in services to another homeowner after an administrative hearing."

The County is presently seeking a court judgement based on a hearing decision against an Ulster County pool installer for $2,200 on behalf of Dutchess residents.

"Another action we have recently taken was to issue a hearing Summons to a fraudulent sweepstakes operator, Royal Sweepstakes, Inc., with a mail drop in Westchester who operates from Nevada," added Kranker. "A 77 year old senior citizen from Dutchess County was sending money to their sweepstakes solicitations."

When the Consumer Affairs Department requested information from Royal Sweepstakes regarding who had won in the past and how much they had won, a New York City lawyer sent a vague and meaningless response accompanied with a full reimbursement to the senior citizen. "We are continuing to pursue this company in order to bring charges against them under our Local Law, Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices, and demand that they cease and desist mailing to Dutchess County residents," Steinhaus stated.

"The County's Consumer Affairs Department encourages residents to file consumer complaints if they feel they have encountered fraud," said Kranker. "Our goal, as evidenced by the information we just shared, is to warn and protect our citizens, as well as retrieving any lost monies or services."


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