For Immediate Release - November 14, 2011

Contempt Proceeding Filed Against Former Owners of Riverside Mitsubishi

Couple Allegedly Failed to Pay Judgment and Resumed Selling Cars in Massachusetts in Violation of Court Order

WORCESTER – The former owners of Riverside Mitsubishi in Auburn face a contempt proceeding for allegedly selling cars in Massachusetts in violation of a court order, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. The AG’s Office also alleges that the former owners failed to make the final $100,000 payment owed to the Commonwealth under the judgment. 

“This is an egregious example of defendants ignoring a court order,” said AG Coakley.  “We have initiated this contempt proceeding to protect consumers and to recover monies owed to the Commonwealth.”

Darryl and Brenda Rivernider, of Oxford, had been ordered to stop selling cars in Massachusetts, either directly or through others, as part of a consent judgment obtained by AG Coakley’s Office in 2005.  The contempt proceeding filed against the Riverniders in Worcester Superior Court alleges that on at least five different occasions during August and September of 2011, the Riverniders engaged in the sale of vehicles in the Commonwealth:

  • In August 2011, Darryl Rivernider orchestrated the sale of three vehicles through Robert J. Appleton Jr., owner of Your Auto Expert in Oxford.
  • In September 2011, Darryl Rivernider paid cash to purchase advertising from the Patriot and Yankee Shopper Newspapers. These advertisements led to sales that were allegedly orchestrated through the Riverniders using their son Chad as a straw seller. The transactions allegedly took place at Lee Automotive in Webster, MA.
  • On September 29, 2011, Brenda Rivernider, acting as an agent for Gate City Motors of Nashua, NH, sold a vehicle at an auction in Oxford, MA.

The contempt proceeding also alleges that the Riverniders failed to make the final $100,000 payment due under the 2005 consent judgment. The AG is asking that the Riverniders to pay $200,000 in previously suspended civil penalties for failure to comply with the order, plus additional penalties of $10,000 per each violation of the consent judgment.  

According to the consent judgment, the Riverniders routinely lured customers into purchasing cars with false promises of paying-off balances and sweetheart refinancing deals. The Riverniders, however, allegedly never paid or delayed paying the loan balances off on the trade in vehicles, failed to provide consumers with titles to their cars, and denied the promised refinancing deals.

This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Margaret Hurley, Chief of AG Coakley’s Central Massachusetts Regional Office; Assistant Attorney General David Monahan, Deputy Chief of AG Coakley’s Consumer Protection Division, and Investigator Kristen Metzger of AG Coakley’s Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau. 

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