CHICAGO, IL Â â€“ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a lawsuit against an Illinois-based online sports equipment retailer for dishonest business practices that resulted in consumers losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Madigan filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Great Sports, Inc., the now-defunct Legion Global Corp. and Gary M. Briden of Mokena, president of both companies. Briden operated Legion Global Corp. from 2009 until it was dissolved in 2011, and he continues to operate Great Sports, Inc., which was started in 2008. Great Sports, Inc. has headquarters in New Lenox and Joliet, and sells a variety of sporting goods â€“ motorcycles, exercise equipment, all-terrain vehicles and more â€“ online and over the phone.
According to Madiganâ€™s lawsuit, consumers purchasing goods at any of the companyâ€™s websites, www.greaterpowersports.com, www.globaltrailer.net and www.saferwholesale.com, received incorrect orders or damaged products. Upon contacting the company, consumers were denied refunds and instead offered store credit or warranties. When returning items, consumers were oftentimes charged shipping costs, and some were charged a 30 percent restocking fee.
Madiganâ€™s lawsuit also alleges that between 2007 and 2009, Briden advertised and sold items through several eBay accounts on behalf of Great Sports and Legion Global. At least seven of Bridenâ€™s accounts were suspended for violating eBayâ€™s terms of service.
â€œConsumers are more likely to do research before making a larger purchase, such as a motorcycle or all-terrain vehicle, but it is also important to make sure youâ€™re buying smaller items from a reputable business,â€ Madigan said. â€œI encourage anyone shopping online to be proactive and check the companyâ€™s record with my officeâ€™s Consumer Fraud Bureau or the Better Business Bureau before you buy.â€
Madiganâ€™s office received hundreds of complaints from consumers in 19 counties throughout Illinois. The office estimates Illinois consumers have lost approximately $350,000, and Madigan is asking the court to prevent the company from doing business in Illinois. The lawsuit also seeks to revoke the companyâ€™s licenses, provide restitution to consumers and impose civil penalties on the defendants.
Madigan is encouraging consumers who believe they may have been defrauded by Great Sports, Inc. doing business as Greatsports.com, Globaltrailer.net and saferwholesale.com or Legion Global Corp. to contact her officeâ€™s Consumer Fraud Hotline:
Assistant Attorneys General Adam Sokol and Kimberly Slider are handling the case for Madiganâ€™s Consumer Fraud Bureau.