RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Three Richmond-based parties — two companies and an individual — have been ordered to pay a combined $10,000 in restitution to customers after they were accused of allegedly misrepresenting landlord-tenant activities, according to a recent release from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced on Tuesday, Aug. 23 that his office has reached a settlement with JumpStart U2, Inc., Vasilios Education Center Inc. and Carl S. Vaughan for reportedly violating the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

According to the lawsuit brought by the Attorney General’s Office, Vaughan and the two companies falsely advertised programs directed toward low-income tenants and misled tenant customers about entering into “housing programs” or “housing initiatives” that offered more than traditional landlord-tenant housing.

The lawsuit also alleged that on more than one occasion after Jan. 1, 2016, the defendants failed to disclose the identity of the owner of leased properties in the subleases they used, the release read.

“We will not tolerate landlords who take advantage of Virginians seeking affordable housing by violating and ignoring laws designed to protect Virginia consumers,” Miyares said in the release. “My office is dedicated to protecting vulnerable Virginians from such abusive practices, and we will continue to hold bad actors accountable,”

As part of the settlement, the Attorney General’s Office said JumpStart, Vasilios Education Center and Vaughan have been ordered to carry out the following:

  • Pay $10,000 for restitution to customers who entered subleases during the relevant period and who paid for programs and services that were not provided.
  • Provide information that is in their possession relating to customers who contacted the commonwealth to ask about their eligibility for restitution and/or the judgment forgiveness relief provided under the settlement.

The Attorney General’s Office said customers who believe they may be eligible for restitution are encouraged to contact the Office’s Consumer Protection Section at 800-552-9963 or email consumer@oag.state.va.us. An online complaint form is also available on the Office’s website.