LOS ANGELES, Feb 7 ( Associated Press) California Attorney General Rob Bonta reported a ruling against the Curacao department store retail chain for violating the state’s insurance code, which primarily affects Hispanic customers.
The Los Angeles Superior Court fined Curacao, a chain with 10 locations in Southern California, and its owner Ron Azarkman, nearly $8 million.
“Curaçao’s illegal trade practice was shown to be directed, pervasive and disregard for the state’s consumer protection laws and consumers,” Bonta said in a statement.
For its part, Curaçao announced in a statement that it was going to appeal the decision and was pleased that the court “dismissed the main cause of the case against Curaçao, regarding the alleged illegal sale of credit security”. I was.”
The company was also facing charges for Curaçao Credit Shield, a credit protection program similar to those offered by banks and credit card companies, but the court found no violations in this product.
On the other hand, the company indicated that it has taken several measures to ensure that it educates customers on financial issues so that they have a “flawless experience” through a new portal in English and Spanish.
It specified that the “technical violations of the Insurance Code” that the Court determined “related to a different product that the company no longer offers and that was administered by an independent insurer.”
This isn’t the first time that the store chain has faced an indictment from the California Attorney General’s office.
In March 2021, Curaçao reached a $10.5 million settlement to settle a lawsuit over multiple allegations that the chain misled and illegally profited from its largely Latino customer base and undocumented immigrants.
The settlement provided debt relief for consumers affected by Curaçao’s conduct. It also includes additional debt forgiveness for customers who are still paying Curaçao for illegal small claims judgments.
“Between today’s decision and the 2021 agreement, Curaçao and its owners are finally being held responsible for enriching themselves at the expense of a low-income, Spanish-speaking immigrant customer base,” Bonta insisted.