October 1, 2012
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced that Darain Atkinson was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday. He pleaded guilty to stealing consumers’ refunds, insurance fraud, and consumer fraud in April.
“In 2009, my office received more complaints about service contract sellers than about any other industry. The industry was plagued by deceptive practices and half truths,” Koster said. “My office’s prosecution of the owners of US Fidelis set in motion a dramatic change in that industry – a transformation reflected in the considerable decrease in complaints my office received about service contract sellers last year. The criminal prosecutions of Darain and Cory Atkinson should serve as a powerful reminder that my office will not tolerate unfair and deceptive business practices.”
Cory Atkinson, a co-owner of US Fidelis with Darain, was sentenced Friday to four years for insurance fraud, consumer fraud, and stealing consumers’ money by lying about the vehicle repair coverage in contracts associated with an oil additive.
In addition to the criminal charges against the Atkinsons, the Attorney General’s Office filed civil lawsuits against auto service contract telemarketers and formed a task force to recommend new requirements in the industry. That task force recommended new legislation, which passed in 2011, and strengthened consumer protections in the industry. The Attorney General’s Office has entered into 9 settlements with service contract marketers and continues to litigate with five others.
Judge Jon Cunningham today sentenced Darain Atkinson to eight years in prison on the state charges. On September 28, Judge Ted House sentenced Cory Atkinson to four years in prison on the state charges against him. Both sentences will run concurrently with previously set federal sentences.