Attorney General Kwame Raoul has announced a multi-state lawsuit settlement that will provide relief to American service members duped by deceptive marketing tactics by a national jewelry retailer.
Harris Jewelry will provide relief totaling $34.2 million for more than 46,000 service members and veterans nationwide, including over $750,000 in relief to Illinois consumers. According to the original complaint filed in New York by a group of 18 states and the Federal Trade Commission, Harris Jewelry, who purposefully built retail locations on or near military bases around the country, used deceptive marketing tactics to lure active-duty service members to its financing program, falsely claiming that investing in this program would improve service members’ credit scores. Instead, service members were tricked into obtaining high-interest loans on overpriced, poor quality jewelry that saddled them with thousands of dollars of debt and worsened their credit.
If approved by the court, the settlement requires that Harris Jewelry refund tens of thousands of service members for warranties they were tricked into purchasing, stop collecting over $21 million in debt, correct bad credit scores, and dissolve all of Harris Jewelry’s businesses. This agreement also requires Harris Jewelry to pay a $1 million penalty.
Service members and veterans who entered into a predatory financing loan with Harris Jewelry between January 2014 and July 2022 will be eligible for restitution to the extent they paid for warranties. Eligible service members and veterans will receive an email and letter in the mail notifying them of their eligibility and the process to make a claim. An independent monitor will be installed to oversee this process.