Paradise Garage Extradition

The article below is a follow-up to a news item posted last June. Here is the link to that article:

http://www.sportscarmarket.com/articles/archives/1176

Arthur Glen Kurrus, the former owner of Paradise Garage, an antique, sports and luxury car dealership in the Lime Rock section of Salisbury, was extradited from his new home in Healdsburg, Cal., Dec. 19 to appear in Bantam Superior Court the next day on charges of defrauding clients.

He appeared with his new attorney, William Hickey III of the Waterbury firm Mellon, Hickey & Capuano, and, after a back-and-forth between the judge and Mr. Hickey, bond was set at $150,000.”Mr. Kurrus was able to post that. He returned to California,” said Mr. Hickey.The case was then moved into Litchfield Superior Court, where Mr. Hickey and Mr. Kurrus appeared again Jan. 8 to enter not guilty pleas on all charges.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the state Department of Consumer Protection have filed several civil complaints against Mr. Kurrus on behalf of more than a dozen former clients from around the country. One car owner, for example, claimed that he brought his rare sports car in for repairs and that Mr. Kurrus sold the car instead.
Mr. Kurrus’ former garage, which sits opposite Lime Rock Park, was raided last May when Mr. Blumenthal seized three Porsches from the business to be held against the fines that could be levied for the criminal charges that were pending against Mr. Kurrus.

By that point, Mr. Kurrus had already moved to California. He did not own the building that housed the shop where he also did business as Evolution Motor Sports LLC.
Though six parties are named in the state’s suit as plaintiffs, several other former clients filed complaints but did not become involved with the lawsuit for various reasons. Some of those involved in the suit have already been financially satisfied after alleged untoward treatment by Mr. Kurrus.

However, Mr. Blumenthal said in May about the case, “He may have [financially] resolved some of the complaints but he still has broken the law and is liable for fines, penalties and other sanctions. There are individuals who still have outstanding claims against him.”

Among the claims in the civil action were claims that Mr. Kurrus was doing the following: selling cars on consignment and not paying the owners or informing them of sales or purchase prices; refusing to return cars that had not been sold; positioning himself as the owner of vehicles during sales; demanding payment for repairs that were not authorized and, in some cases, not performed; turning back the odometer on at least one car to fetch a higher selling price, misrepresenting cars to buyers and misrepresenting sales prices to the state Department of Motor Vehicles to avoid paying taxes. Most of these charges violate the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Coming through Paradise Garage on a regular basis were unusual and expensive automobiles. Mr. Kurrus regularly dealt with vintage Ferraris, Porsches and Austin Healeys that were worth well into six figures. The state is seeking at least $170,000 in damages from Mr. Kurrus. This figure represents $115,000 in restitution and $55,000 in civil penalties. The three cars seized from the Lime Rock Road location are estimated to be worth between $90,000 and $150,000 in total.

Mr. Kurrus is scheduled to appear next in Litchfield Superior Court Feb. 8.

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