ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state has filed a lawsuit against a national jewelry retailer, claiming the company uses false and deceptive methods to dupe U.S. military members into illegal financing contracts for overpriced merchandise.
Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced Monday the lawsuit alleges Harris Jewelry used its "Operation Teddy Bear" charitable donations campaign to lure service members into high-priced, in-house financing contracts.
The Hauppauge, New York-based company has retail stores on or near military bases across the county.
The lawsuit alleges Harris Jewelry marks up jewelry between 600 and 1,000 percent over wholesale price and adds a nearly 15 percent interest rate.
The lawsuit is the result of a multistate investigation co-led by New York and Tennessee.
The company calls the allegations "inaccurate and baseless" and says it will contest the lawsuit.