Ignite Consulting Partners ended up with a great way to promote its upcoming compliance conference courtesy of the latest action by the Minnesota attorney general.

The firm recapped in its Tip of the Week about Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison filing a lawsuit against an independent dealership and its owner for variety of alleged misdeeds, including:

—Misrepresents that its used cars are certified when they are not

—Illegally adds expensive vehicle service contracts to consumers’ purchases without their consent

—Refuses to provide warranties that it is required to provide by law

—Bails to make accurate “Buyer’s Guide” disclosures and provide such disclosures in Spanish, as required by law

—Conducts business under an unregistered trade name that heavily targets and exploits Spanish speakers

The suit is against Midwest Car Search, a store in Fridley, Minn., and its owner, Scott Spiczka.

“Affording your life is tough enough without bad actors taking advantage of you. A car is a necessity for many, and Minnesotans should be able to shop for cars without having to worry about being deceived or defrauded. But that’s what Midwest Car Search did. They broke the law and violated consumers’ trust by misrepresenting the nature and quality of the cars it was selling, while also illegally including expensive add-on products in purchases without disclosing them,” Ellison said in a news release.

“Equally appalling is that Midwest Car Search aggressively targeted Spanish speakers through widespread advertising campaigns in Spanish and conducted sales in Spanish, only to have those speakers sign documents in English that bore no relation to the promises Midwest Car Search made to them. I look forward to holding these bad actors accountable for cheating Minnesota consumers,” the Minnesota AG continued.

After reviewing the complaint, Ignite Consulting Partners offered this reaction.

“This is a ‘real world’ example of the type of ‘bet the business’ lawsuits that we warn dealers about,” the firm said. “The allegations against the owner claim that he ‘directed, controlled, participated in, acquiesced to, and knew or should have known about, the unlawful conduct described in this complaint, and is therefore personally liable under Minnesota’s consumer protection statutes for his participation in various unlawful schemes.’

“Remember, these are allegations and the defendants will have an opportunity to defend themselves,” Ignite continued. “Just in the past year, we’ve written or spoken about all of these claims extensively. Too bad this dealer didn’t undertake the type of proactive compliance review that we encourage.”

Dealers have another chance to gain knowledge to avoid potential pitfalls when Ignite hosts Compliance Unleashed, a three-day educational event in Dallas on May 20-22. The agenda is filled with dealership owners as well as collections and underwriting managers to foster “an environment of collaborative learning.”

More details can be found at https://www.complianceunleashed.com.