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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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December 6, 2011

MADIGAN SUES SAUNA COMPANY FOR DEFRAUDING CHICAGO CONSUMERS

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed suit against a Sycamore company that traveled the country selling saunas at local festivals and home shows but failed to deliver the saunas.

Madigan filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Garrett Michaels Investment Services Inc., which does business as Saunas Today, Infrared Heat Consultants and Extreme Recreation, and its president, Gary Thornton, of DeKalb.

“We’ve received dozens of complaints from consumers who lost thousands of dollars in down payments,” Attorney General Madigan said. “This case should remind consumers how important it is to ask for references and check out a company’s standing before making a major purchase.”

Madigan’s lawsuit alleges saunas were delivered months after the promised delivery date, if they were delivered at all. Consumers who tried to cancel orders were charged cancellation fees, and the company failed to refund consumers’ deposits for delivered saunas.

Twenty-three consumers living in Cook, Kane and Lake counties have filed complaints against the business with the Attorney General’s office. Their total loss is more than $23,000.

Madigan is asking the court to cancel pending contracts with consumers, obtain restitution for affected consumers and impose civil penalties on the defendants. The lawsuit also seeks an enjoinment to prevent the company from unfair business practices.

Assistant Attorney General Janice Parker is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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