For Immediate Release
August 22, 2008
Senior Assistant Attorney General Lauren J. Noether
Attorney General Kelly Ayotte announces that on Monday, August 18, 2008, Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Philip Mangones signed a preliminary injunction against an internet-based business, My Shoe Store, Inc., d/b/a My Shoe Store.com or Lord John's Footwear, as well as against its sole director and president, Michael Kyriannis of Great Neck, NY. My Shoe Store, Inc. was a registered New Hampshire corporation until its recent dissolution.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Lauren Noether outlined the facts of the past years supporting the State's claim that "immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result to the public" without the injunction. The State argued that Michael Kyriannis would likely continue the practices of accepting or retaining payment and later failing to provide the ordered items and failing to refund customers.
Mr. Kyriannis has operated My Shoe Store.com/Lord John's Footwear.com since 2005 first from a rental location in Greenland, New Hampshire and subsequently out of rented property in Hampton, New Hampshire that suddenly was vacated by Kyriannis in June. The State claims in its lawsuit that Kyriannis immediately charged consumers' credit or debit cards for shoes ordered online despite the items not being in stock. The business failed to later fill the orders, often claiming the order was cancelled due to "unavailability of the items." The business did not provide consumers with refunds in a reasonable time or, on numerous occasions, failed to give any refund. Some customers received refunds via checks only to have them "bounce" causing further problems and out of pocket expenses for consumers. Approximately 400 customers were affected.
The number of complaints received by both the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau and the Better Business Bureau of New Hampshire increased dramatically in 2008 in spite of the business entering into a voluntary Assurance of Discontinuance on January 29, 2008 to change their business practices. "My office is concerned about any business which engages in unfair and deceptive practices, especially one that has not reformed its policies in spite of repeated chances to do so," said Attorney General Kelly Ayotte. "Many internet companies and New Hampshire businesses operate in a fair and scrupulous manner, fully abiding by the law. However, consumers are urged to be especially cautious when transacting business over the internet."
In the suit, the State requests restitution for listed consumers as well as those complainants who may surface later. Mr. Kyriannis and My Shoe Store failed to attend the hearing on the injunction. The preliminary injunction orders Kyriannis personally and My Shoe Store, Inc. to "immediately cease and desist from accepting payment for ordered items prior to the shipping of said items pending a hearing on the merits" of this case. The order applies to any internet-based business in which Kyriannis has "any ownership interest, management authority or decision-making role." The State's suit seeks fines for non-compliance with New Hampshire's Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act as well as reimbursement for the consumers who have been harmed and a permanent injunction prohibiting the wrongful trade practices.
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