Wed June 15, 2011
US Fidelis founders face multiple felony indictments
The millionaire brothers who ran US Fidelis, the country’s largest auto-warranty service provider have been indicted on multiple felony charges.
Darain and Cory Atkinson founded US Fidelis in 2003 selling the kind of extended auto warranties often advertised in junk mail or TV.
Over a three-year period the Better Business Bureau received over a thousand complaints and 33,000 inquiries.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced the indictments in St. Charles on Wednesday. He says the brothers are accused of unlawful merchandising, insurance fraud and stealing.
“In addition, the indictments allege that the Atkinsons falsely represented to consumers that all vehicle repairs were covered and concealed from consumers the fact that the coverage contained liability limits and other conditions and exclusions from the coverage,” says Koster.
US Fidelis declared bankruptcy in 2009. Darain Atkinson is a prior offender having already been convicted of theft, burglary and forgery in the 1980’s.
Additionally the company is also under investigation by attorneys general in at least 40 states.
Responding to questions from reporters Koster says, “There were several years in which the largest number of consumer complaints to our office and to other attorney general’s offices around the country had to do with this company and these types of allegations.”
Darain Atkinson faces a 14-count indictment on top of his priors, meaning he could face up to life in prison if convicted.
Cory Atkinson faces a 13 count indictment and faces up to 15 years if convicted on all counts. The brothers have surrendered their passports and are being held on $250,000 bond. No trial date has been set.