Driving School That Allegedly Duped Hundreds of Consumers out of Money Sued by AG Coakley
Preliminary Injunction Hearing To Be Held On January 11
BOSTON – A lawsuit has been filed against a driving school in Waltham that shuttered its doors earlier this year after collecting thousands of dollars in fees from students, despite allegedly knowing it was in dire financial circumstances and was about to close, Attorney General Coakley announced today.
According to the AG’s complaint, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, Frederick Lovely, owner of Cam’s Auto School (Cam’s) in Waltham, had planned to close the driving school as early as October 2010. Despite that, Lovely allegedly continued to sign up hundreds of new students and accept their tuition payments until March 2011.
“We allege that this driving school misled its prospective students and the RMV in order to turn a profit despite the fact they allegedly knew they were in dire financial straits and planned to close,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley. “As a result, hundreds of young students lost money, and were forced to pay even more to complete their driver’s education. Our office is seeking restitution and to ensure they cannot scam consumers in the Commonwealth again.”
“The licensing process and completing a driver’s education program is a major milestone in the lives of many young people in Massachusetts. It brings with it immense responsibility,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian. “The added financial stressor detailed in this instance is grossly unfair to teens and their families. I applaud the Attorney General for seeking recourse.”
According to the lawsuit, 537 students allegedly paid the auto school a total of approximately $175,000 for which they received no services. In addition to enrolling students at its Waltham location, Cam’s allegedly conducted two sign up sessions at Natick High School during which it enrolled nearly 40 new students. The lawsuit also alleges that, in order to boost enrollment in the final weeks before it closed, Cam’s offered discounts of $175 off of the $575 tuition fee if the student paid by cash or check.
In addition to the $575 class fee, Cam’s allegedly collected fees from its students on behalf of the school districts in which it was operating, but failed to remit the fees to the schools. According to AG Coakley’s lawsuit, Cam’s and Mr. Lovely provided driving school instruction in the city of Waltham and had contracts with local school districts including Lexington, Natick, Needham, Wayland and Wellesley since 1993.
The AG’s Office is seeking to prohibit Cam’s and Mr. Lovely from providing driving instruction in Massachusetts. The complaint is also seeking restitution for the affected consumers, as well as penalties, costs and attorney’s fees. The AG’s motion for preliminary injunction is scheduled for hearing on January 11, 2012 at 2:00pm.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Justin Lowe and Mychii Snape of AG Coakley’s Consumer Protection Division, with assistance from Monique Cascarano of AG Coakley’s Civil Investigations Division.