For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Todd Dvorak
(208) 334-4112

Date: June 5, 2015

Attorney General Resolves Consumer Protection Case Against former N. Idaho Coin Dealer

(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has resolved a consumer protection case that requires a former Coeur d’Alene coin dealer to pay more than $578,000 to customers.

A state judge signed an order earlier this week against Kevin E. Mitchell, 49, who once owned and operated CoiNuts Inc. Mitchell was accused of taking money from customers, but never making good on his promise to deliver the gold and silver coins.

“This case represents an increasing problem in Idaho,” Wasden said. “Business owners accept consumers’ payments, but fail to deliver their purchases, then shut down operations and ignore refund requests.”

In the lawsuit, Wasden accused Mitchell of committing multiple violations of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act between 2008 and 2012. Consumers came to Mitchell’s store to buy gold and silver coins, and they turned over thousands of dollars expecting that Mitchell could obtain and deliver the coins.

Over time, it became apparent to consumers that Mitchell had misrepresented his ability to acquire the coins. He then ignored repeated requests from consumers for refunds.

Wasden initially filed a lawsuit against CoiNuts and Mitchell in April 2013. The judge in that case entered a $742,826 default judgment against CoiNuts in September 2013.

A year later, the court ruled that Mitchell personally violated state consumer protection laws and permanently barred him from owning or operating a coin business in Idaho. At a hearing last month, the judge ordered Mitchell to repay 10 of his customers a total of $579,569.

“Business owners who are headed down a similar path taken by Mr. Mitchell must stop and contemplate how their misdeeds will damage consumers and the marketplace,” Wasden said. “I encourage all business owners who face financial problems to immediately consult with an attorney. Ignoring your customers is not an option.”

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division welcomes complaints from consumers who paid money to any business for goods or services that were never delivered. Complaint forms are available here or by calling (208) 334-2424.

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