LITTLE ROCK – A former Cleburne County boat dealer who swindled consumers out of the money he owed them for consignment sales has been ordered to pay civil penalties and restitution of more than $170,000, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today.
Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox issued a default judgment against Gary Eubanks of Heber Springs and his business, Edgemont Marine, in a suit filed by McDaniel last year. Fox ordered Eubanks to pay $90,000 to the State for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and to provide restitution of $82,630 to affected consumers.
Edgemont Marine and Eubanks entered into contracts with consumers who wanted to sell their personal watercraft. He agreed to sell the boats at his business on consignment, typically for a 10 percent commission. However, in at least nine instances, Eubanks kept all the money from the sales for himself.
“The defendant created impossible situations for both buyers and sellers with his illegal actions, since boat sellers were left without the proceeds of sales and buyers were unable to obtain a clear title for their purchases,” McDaniel said. “Consumers need to have confidence in the transactions they make at Arkansas businesses, and that’s why my Consumer Protection Division continues to aggressively pursue actions in instances such as these.”
Eubanks was accused of contacting consumers who were selling their watercraft on Craigslist and offering to sell the items on consignment. He also used newspaper and radio advertisements to promote his business.
Eubanks was ordered to pay $5,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs in addition to the penalties and restitution.