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Schneiderman: Agreement in place with former Shimshack's Restaurant to refund consumers for gift certificates

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Tue, Feb 16th 2016 10:40 am

Shimshack's to issue refunds to consumers whose claims are received by A.G.'s office by April 10

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced his office has entered into an agreement with the former Shimshack's Restaurant, formerly located on Upper Mountain Road in Sanborn. Shimshack's went out of business in October 2015 and consumers filed complaints with the attorney general's office over unused gift card balances that had not yet been refunded.

"Gift certificate holders deserve a full and fair refund when a business is forced to close its doors," Schneiderman said. "I am pleased that today's agreement will ensure that customers are made whole, and I strongly encourage those who believe they have an unused gift certificate balance to contact my office."

The restaurant was a well-known establishment before it went out of business last October. The former owner reported the business went under as a result of the devaluation of Canadian currency, the rising cost of supplies, and two unusually harsh winters. While the company had sold gift certificates, it had not deposited the funds into a separate escrow account. Instead, the funds were used for day-to-day operating costs.

Shimshack's acknowledges it failed to keep a record of the persons to whom it sold gift certificates. Instead, the business treated the gift certificates like bearer bonds; anyone who presented a gift certificate received its value.

Consumers who have an outstanding gift card balance can file a complaint with Schneiderman's office by calling 716-853-8404. Complaints must be received no later than April 10, 2016.

This matter was handled by James M. Morrissey in the Buffalo regional office and Karen Davis, senior consumer fraud representative. Michael Russo leads the Buffalo regional office. Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Marty Mack leads the Division of Regional Offices.

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