Greg Zoeller pursues recompense for Super Bowl rental scam victims

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July 24, 2012

By Maresa Strano

Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana: In his capacity as Attorney General of Indiana to protect the state's consumers against fraud, Greg Zoeller filed a suit in Marion Superior Court against two Arizona-based home-rental companies accused of defrauding Indianapolis homeowners in preparation for the 2012 Super Bowl, which Indiana hosted. Super Week Lodging LCC and Arizona-based Major Home Rentalz offered services such as photographing and listing the homes of locals interested in renting to out-of-town fans seeking a place to stay while in town for the game. The companies collected individual online listing fees up to $1,500 under the guarantee of refunding Hoosiers whose homes did not get rented out.[1]

The scam yielded almost $30,000 in total losses, according to the 21 complaints registered with the attorney general's office as of March 1, 2012 when the suits were originally filed.[2] "Although the Super Bowl brought positive attention and business to Indianapolis, it also brought in scammers who intended to deceive and take financial advantage of consumers," Zoeller explained.[2]

Approximately five months later, Zoeller announced that one of the companies, Super Week Lodging LCC, failed to respond to the state suit, forcing Marion County Superior Court judge to issue a default judgment. The judgment ordered the company to pay $217,725 in fines and restitution for reneging on rental agreements stemming from the 2012 Super Bowl and placed an injunction on the company to prevent future deceptive acts. Zoeller said the default judgment amounts to $40,975 in consumer restitution, $176,000 in civil penalties and $750 in costs.[1]

Lawsuits of the rental scam variety are the province of the state's consumer protection division. As attorney general, Zoeller oversees this division and is responsible for the prosecution of all civil actions brought in the name of the state of Indiana or any state agency.[3] As such, he is fully committed to securing compensation for the victims. Although the state won the lawsuit, Zoeller clarified in an office press release, "the company has not yet paid the judgment – leaving victims without restitution; our office will aggressively pursue collection efforts to help give relief to the homeowners who were ripped off.”[4]

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