Former Owner of Waltham Auto School Ordered to Pay More Than $282,500 for Collecting Fees for Classes Not Provided
Defendant Prohibited from Engaging in Any Driver Education Business in Massachusetts
BOSTON – The former owner of a shuttered Waltham auto school has been ordered to pay more than $282,500, resolving claims that he failed to refund hundreds of students for driving classes that were not provided, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
According to the consent judgment, filed in Suffolk Superior Court today, Frederick Lovely, the former owner and sole officer of Cam’s Auto School, Inc., failed to complete driver education for more than 500 of its students who had paid up front for their driving classes. The consent judgment includes findings that Lovely knew he would not be able to provide the promised services when he obtained the fees because the business was already in dire financial circumstances. Cam’s Auto School abruptly closed in March 2011.
“This defendant falsely advertised and sold driving school services when he knew they could not be provided,” AG Coakley said. “We are pleased that this judgment orders full restitution for consumers who were harmed and prohibits the defendant from engaging in any driver education business in the state.”
“I am grateful to Attorney General Coakley and her staff for their efforts to ensure that the student drivers and their families who were affected by this unscrupulous practice are fully reimbursed,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian.
This judgment is a result of a lawsuit filed by the AG’s Office in December 2011, which alleged 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 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. According to the lawsuit, Lovely provided driving school instruction in the city of Waltham and had contracts at one point with several local school districts including Lexington, Natick, Needham, Wayland and Wellesley.
The consent judgment requires Lovely to pay more than $282,500, which includes more than $174,900 in restitution for consumers and $107,650 in civil penalties and fees. While Lovely claims not to have any assets to satisfy the judgment at this time, the AG’s Office obtained an order preventing Lovely from discharging his financial obligations under the consent judgment in his pending bankruptcy proceeding.
Lovely is also permanently prohibited from engaging in and accepting fees for any business relating to driver education in Massachusetts.
This case is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Justin J. Lowe and Mychii Snape, and Paralegal Yolanda Kruczkowski from AG Coakley's Consumer Protection Division, and Monique Cascarano and Amanda George from the Civil Investigations Division.