December 27, 2006, 12:00 AM

Illinois sues iMergent businesses over alleged deceptive practices

The Illinois Attorney General is suing two businesses operated by iMergent, an e-commerce software and services vendor, for alleged violations of the state’s Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act. iMergent denies any wrongdoing.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is suing two businesses operated by iMergent Inc., a vendor of e-commerce software and services, for alleged violations of the state’s Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act. IMergent denies any wrongdoing.

In the lawsuit filed this week in Madison County (IL) Circuit Court, Madigan charges that the two businesses-StoresOnline Inc. and Galaxy Mall Inc.-misled consumers with false promises to set up online stores. Contrary to promises, products were difficult to set up and consumers with computer experience couldn’t set up the online stores, according to the suit.

In addition, the businesses refused to cancel contracts and provide refunds within a three-day period of signing the contract as promised, the suit charges. The two businesses also failed to provide promised technical support for the products, Madigan alleges.

The lawsuit asks the court to prohibit the two businesses from selling or promoting business products, training and other services and from further violations of Illinois consumer protection laws. It also asks the court to rescind the contracts and order the defendants to pay restitution to Illinois consumers who had paid more than $91,000 to the companies.

Madigan also is seeking a civil penalty of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with intent to defraud.

IMergent general counsel Jeffery Korn says the company is confused by the allegations. “During the past three years, over 10,000 people from Illinois have attended our workshops, resulting in nearly 2,400 StoresOnline customers,” he says. “During that same period, we have received only 11 complaints from the AG’s office-equivalent to one half of one percent-which were all fully resolved expeditiously.”

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