MENTOR, Ohio - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit charging Mentor-based Tours of the Month Inc. and owner Edward Haak with taking funds and then failing to deliver vacation tour packages to consumers or issue refunds.
"Consumers have the right to get what they pay for, and businesses have an obligation to deliver on their promises," Attorney General DeWine said. "When a business fails to deliver, we will take action to help consumers."
The lawsuit alleges Haak operated Tours of the Month from his Mentor home, and offered vacation and tour packages to consumers throughout northeast Ohio.
Consumers began to complain in the first few months of 2013 that the business failed to deliver vacation packages and failed to provide refunds.
The Attorney General's Office reports there are currently four unresolved complaints against the business.
Tours of the Month Inc. was the subject of a NewsChannel5 investigation in 2009. The 5 On Your Side Troubleshooter Unit worked with Eastlake police to return thousands of dollars to dozens of consumers after the company was unable to make good on a train trip to Colorado.
The lawsuit, filed in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court seeks full restitution for consumers, plus civil penalties and a permanent injunction to stop the business from committing further violations.
NewsChannel5 contacted Edward Haak by telephone. Haak told 5 On Your Side he knew nothing about the lawsuit, but pledged to return any outstanding funds to consumers.
Attorney General DeWine encourages consumers to research a company's reputation before making any payments.
Consumers can check complaints filed with the Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau. They also can do a basic Internet search to gather information about a business.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.