NBC 7 Investigates has been looking into problems that some San Diego business owners have had with their credit card leasing company and processing services, Ladco Financial Group; also known as Elavon.
Kristen Curran, owner of Cup of Yo in Point Loma, tells NBC 7 San Diego that the company did not follow through on its promises and it turns out she is not alone.
According to the Ventura County District Attorney, dozens of business owners have had similar problems and were sued by the company when they tried to get out of their contracts.
Because of these types of problems popping up all over the country, Ventura County District Attorney, Gregory Totten filed and settled a civil law enforcement action against Ladco Financial Group, Inc of Thousand Oaks, and Elavon Inc., of Atlanta.
The settlement resolves allegations that Ladco, which was merged into Elavon in 2009, violated California laws prohibiting unfair competition and misleading advertising.
This case was investigated by the Ventura County District Attorney's Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit.
The Ventura County D.A.'s office says the action alleges that lease agents used misrepresentations and false promises to induce small-business owners around the country to enter into lease contracts for credit-card swiping terminals with Ladco.
District Attorney Totten's complaint also alleged that Ladco and Elavon's vendors forged signatures on leases.
The final judgment states that Ladco and Elavon must pay $418,601 in civil penalties, restitution, and cost recovery to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.
It also requires that Ladco and Elavon cancel leases, release liens, terminate collection efforts, and provide updated status reports to credit reporting agencies for the business owners who were impacted.
A spokesperson for US Bank, the parent company of Ladco and Elavon, declined our request for an interview about this story.
However, we received a statement that says, in part, "Elavon works closely with all customers to resolve discrepancies or concerns about the products they receive..... Elavon is working with the Ventura County District Attorney to resolve outstanding issues."