Harris Jewelry Required to Provide Refunds, Stop Collecting Debt, and Correct Bad Credit Scores for More Than 46,000 Servicemembers and Veterans Nationwide
(BOISE) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden today announced Idaho’s participation in a $34.2 million multistate agreement with a New York-based jewelry company that defrauded thousands of U.S. servicemembers and veterans.
Harris Jewelry used deceptive marketing tactics to lure active duty servicemembers to their financing program, falsely claiming that the program would improve servicemembers’ credit scores. Instead, servicemembers were tricked into obtaining high-interest loans on overpriced, poor quality jewelry that saddled them with thousands of dollars of debt and worsened their credit.
The 18-state agreement requires Harris Jewelry to refund tens of thousands of servicemembers for warranties they were tricked into purchasing, to stop collecting millions of dollars of debt, to correct bad credit scores, and dissolves all of Harris Jewelry’s businesses. The agreement also requires Harris Jewelry to pay $1 million to the 18 states.
Harris Jewelry, headquartered in Hauppauge, NY, operated retail stores near and on military bases around the country. Their business model was designed to primarily target people in the military. A multi-state investigation led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and the Federal Trade Commission found that the company’s tactics affected more than 46,000 servicemembers and veterans nationwide.
The settlement will benefit 107 Idaho servicemembers who will receive approximately $59,700 in restitution and/or debt forgiveness.
Servicemembers and veterans who entered into a predatory financing loan with Harris Jewelry between January 2014 and July 2022 will be eligible for restitution to the extent they paid for warranties. An independent monitor will be installed to oversee the relief and contact eligible servicemembers and veterans. Eligible servicemembers and veterans will receive an email and letter in the mail notifying them of this agreement and their eligibility. Servicemembers will then have to claim their restitution