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Delaware AG: Jewelry store defrauded service members and vets

Delaware Public Media

In a more than $34 million settlement, the Delaware Attorney General’s office said a jewelry retailer defrauded more than 46,000 service members and veterans nationwide.

Delaware joins 18 other states in recovering the funds from Harris Jewelry out of New York state.

Attorney General Kathy Jennings' office said the chain, which had stores located on and near military bases, targeted service members and veterans for overpriced jewelry, bogus warranty programs and high-interest loans.

The AG’s office said Harris Jewelry also enrolled people into a fake investing program falsely promising to raise their credit scores.

The settlement requires Harris Jewelry to refund the tens of thousands of service members, stop collecting millions in debt and restore credit scores.

The store will be dissolved and required to pay $1 million to each of the 18 states.

According to the order, the chain violated dozens of federal and state laws including the FTC Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and the Military Lending Act.

Mark Arehart is an award-winning reporter/producer. Before returning to Delaware, Arehart was a reporter for WKSU and Ideastream Public Media in Northeast Ohio. He previously hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He has worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.