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Connecticut reaches multi-million dollar settlement with a jewelry retailer that scammed veterans

AG Tong.jpg
Michael Lyle, Jr.
/
WSHU
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announces a settlement has been reached with a New York-based jeweler that used deceptive and scam practices against state servicemen and veterans Thursday in Hartford.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said Harris Jewelers, a New York-based retailer, targeted military service members and veterans with schemes, including bad loans, charitable donations and low-quality products.

“It is hard to think of a scam, a predatory practice uglier than preying on our men and women in uniform,” Tong said.

The $34 million settlement will provide refunds and relief for over 100 Connecticut military service members and veterans that fell victim to the scam.

Julio Figueroa, a Windsor resident and veteran, said the company refused to stop automatic withdrawals after he paid for some jewelry while in the service several years ago.

“You walk off base and there’s businesses lined up waiting for you with big signs to just come in and will directly take money out of your military paycheck,” said Figueroa. “It looks really enticing at 17, 18, 19 years old until you learn your lesson.”

Tong said Figueroa is set to receive a $3,000 refund from the settlement.

Mike Lyle joined WSHU Public Radio in early 2021 as a News Anchor, and was brought on full time to cover Connecticut news. He is an anchor/reporter at New England Public Media, a journalist with the National Press Club, and a weekend/fill-in news anchor at WTIC News/Talk 1080.