Nessel serves scofflaw via social media

Jonathan Oosting
The Detroit News
Attorney General Dana Nessel

Lansing — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel used Facebook to serve an order for default judgment on a fraudulent sports-themed online retailer who had fled the state, her office said Wednesday, describing it as a “savvy delivery method.”

Nessel used social media to contact Christopher Carr and notify him of the default judgment barring him from doing business in Michigan and finding him liable for $784,328 in damages, civil fines and costs incurred by the attorney general.

Ingham County Judge Clinton Canady III issued the default judgment Feb. 7 after Carr failed to appear at a public hearing. He ruled that Carr and his companies — Authentics LLC and Printrageous LLC — violated the Consumer Protection Act by collecting credit card payments for goods that were never delivered.

Because Carr had stopped responding to Attorney General's Office, Canady also approved an order allowing attorneys to serve him the order through Facebook, Nessel’s office said.

“Thousands of consumers were robbed of their money by Christopher Carr’s deceitful online business practices,” Nessel said in a statement. “I want this action to send a clear message that even if you leave the state, we will pursue you. This office will go after those who use the internet to exploit consumers.”

The judgment requires Carr to pay the fines and fees within 28 days of the order.

If he does so, Nessel’s office must use the first $149.90 to compensate three specific customers bilked by Carr, Canady ruled. Additional damages would be disbursed to consumers that have filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office or Better Business Bureau.

The Better Business Bureau of Southeast Michigan issued a December 2016 alert telling consumers that it had investigated a “pattern of complaints” against Fan Authentics alleging undelivered packages.

But the Better Business Bureau was not able to reach the company at the time. It advised consumers with open or overdue orders to dispute the charges with their credit card company.

WJBK-TV (Channel 2) featured Carr and his Fan Authentics company in a "Hall of Shame" segment in February 2017. 

State records show Carr had listed a Birmingham street address for Authentics LLC and a Troy address for Printrageous LLC. In both cases, he told the state he was creating the companies to “lawfully conduct business.”