Wednesday, October 19, 2016

No Change for the Better. Mike Burns' Victims Still Smouldering.

October 19, 2016




Mr. Attorney General Brnovich: 

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? NOW? HOW ABOUT NOW?


Guess not. Bad connection. 

Well, the fact is, this time, I didn't actually call Attorney General Brnovich. Arizona's AG, turns out, doesn't listen to average citizens or victims, not even when they complain in unison.(See my post, Complaints, Complaints, Complaints.)  All I - or any other Burns victims - got for our considerable pain and inconvenience was nothing. So now I talk to myself in public. Like this.

More than a year after the Office of the Attorney General of Arizona sent me an email explaining how it had failed to help me - and oh so many others, by the way - to receive recompense in the form of justice or money from Camelback Consign and Design, I continue to hear from other victims, who wonder what justice or recompense they might expect.





Gosh. Reading new "old" complaints about Camelback Consign and Design reminds of the good "bad old days." That's when I thought that the Attorney General of Arizona might actually be compelled to serve and protect the good citizens of the state from a particularly nasty predator who came to be known as the "Consignment Vampire" aka Mike Burns. 


I just came across this excerpt from an campaign email for the former AG candidate, Mike Brnovich, from a New Times article





Nope. Public outrage at the fact that AG Mark Brnovich has failed to deliver any more justice than the Republican AG he replaced - at least in this so terribly egregious case - is nil. 

Does it make you feel better that his wife, Susan Brnovich, is a Superior Court judge up for reelection? Her Judicial Performance Commission Results, as reported in the state's 2016 General Election Publicity Pamphlet are excellent. Her lowest rating, for the categories Legal Ability, Integrity, Communication Skills, Judicial Temperament and Administrative Performance, from Litigant/Witness Responses (i.e., average citizens) is 97%!

Wow. 

On the one hand, I sorta wish Susan Brnovich's zeal would rub off on her husband. On the other, I gotta wonder if the result recorded reflects the complete apathy of all but one or two of the many (?) litigants and witnesses that were asked to provide a rating. 

Anyway.

I'm still on the look out for the following items that Mike and Justin Burns sold and failed to recompense me for:








---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FYI

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anglen, Robert  (Arizona Republic & Call 12 for Action)
Date: Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 9:40 AM
Subject: Story on camelback consign
To: Glenn Michaels  



Story is in today's paper. Your blog is mentioned prominently in the story. Thanks for all of your help. Here is a link:


http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/consumer/call-12-for-action/2014/09/28/missing-painting-returned-owner/16373445/






















Tuesday, November 10, 2015

AG'S OFFICE MINIMALLY HELPFUL TO FRAUD VICTIMS

 For more details, see the blog posts listed at the bottom of this page.
Posted on November 10, 2015.

Ladies & Gentlemen, ze AG gives you ze.... 

GREAT ESCAPE!




As you can see - the letter appears immediately below - it contains durned few details.





I bring the following line from that letter to your attention, "To date, the State has not collected any money on the judgments and it is possible that we may never be able to do so."

It is my personal judgement that such an outcome was obvious from the start. That would be just one reason the state should have sought judgments against Burn's co-conspirators. It also leads me to wonder why the State didn't seek a criminal indictment against Burns. After all, for all practical purposes, Burns escaped the judgment of the court and certainly can't be feeling terribly punished for his dirty work.

Dozens of people were plundered by Michael S. Burns (aka the Consignment Vampire) and Camelback Consign & Design. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen. 

The State did obtain judgments against the firm and Burns, but failed to preclude his ability to reopen and conduct the same sort of business he had before. The Superior Court in its wisdom declared that Michael S. Burns would henceforth be required to follow the laws he previously broke. No "or else" was defined.

So, since I did indeed have questions, I followed Ms. Miller's invitation to submit those questions to the Attorney General in an email dated August 17, 2015.  The text of that email follows:


Ms. Miller, 

I received your letter of July 28, 2015 regarding the - apparently final - status of the AG's efforts against Camelback Consign & Design and Mike Burns.

I do have a number of questions that I hope you can answer.

  1. The Superior Court record shows a scheduled Status Conference for 10/20/2015. Please clarify whether this will take place and what it pertains to.
  2. Are judgments granted against Camelback Consign & Design applicable to both managerial members of Camelback Consign & Design LLC, Mike Burns and Justin Burns, or only Mike Burns? I see that your letter references "defendants."
  3. How are judgments enforced or applied? For example, does the state publish a lien against the party or parties subject to the judgment?
  4. Could I get a copy of the pertinent court orders regarding restitution and civil penalties?
  5. Has the AG's office made any effort to locate items that were either sold and for which proper compensation - per the contract - was not provided? 
  6. Has the AG's office attempted to identify the whereabouts of items that were turned over to Camelback Consign & Design, but not reported sold? 
  7. Is the AG's office able to compel delivery of records and testimony regarding the whereabouts of such items? Is it able to compel payment from other sources of income that the party or parties subject to the judgments and civil penalties may have?
  8. Can the AG's office inform me what actually happened with monies not paid and items "converted?"
  9. When do the judgments and civil penalties obtained expire?
  10. How are they renewed?
  11. How frequently can I expect the AG's office to provide updated information regarding the status of collections and restitution from ​the party or parties subject to the judgments and civil penalties​? 
  12. Should the AG's office actually collect funds toward restitution, how are those funds distributed to the injured parties?
  13. Are records of this judgment or notice of any sort regarding the case and its resolution turned over to any other applicable authorities for review? In particular, I am thinking of the IRS. However, there may be other entities with an interest in the outcome of this matter of which I am unaware.

​Many thanks for your kind attention to these questions.​


On August 21, 2015, I received the following response.


Dear Mr. Michaels,

Ms. Miller forwarded me your email regarding Camelback Consign & Design.  At this time, the State has resolved its consumer fraud lawsuit against Camelback Consign & Design and Michael Burns by obtaining default judgments against both defendants.  The default judgments are attached to this email.  If you need additional case related documents, those can be obtained through the Superior Court.  At this time, there are no further proceedings in this matter. 

Once the State obtains a judgment, the State collects the money on its judgment through the means permitted under Arizona’s collection laws.  The State’s collections attorneys will handle all collections.  The State will continue renewing its judgments and will work in accordance with the legal process. 

In addition to obtaining a restitution award against Camelback Consign & Design and Michael Burns, the State successfully returned some items to consumers and worked with the landlord to keep the store open so that consumers could retrieve items. 

Unfortunately, the State does not have the resources to provide updates regarding its collections process.  When the State is able to collect enough funds to distribute restitution to consumers, the State will send out checks to eligible consumers.  The monies distributed will be divided on a pro rata basis. 

The State records its judgments, which are public and available to other law enforcement and government agencies.   

Sincerely,


Alyse Meislik
Assistant Attorney General
Consumer Protection & Advocacy Section
Tel:  (602) 542-7727
Fax: (602) 542-4377
alyse.meislik@azag.gov


Ms. Meislik failed to respond, at all, to questions 1-2, 6-10, and 13. The answer to question three was utterly obligue, and an excellent example of an answer as a non-answer: the State collects the money on its judgment through the means permitted under Arizona’s collection laws. (Isn't this why America watches The Good Wife? To understand what real-life attornies refuse to tell us?)
I remain perplexed. How exactly did the Consumer Protection & Advocacy Section of the Office of the Arizona Attorney General fulfill its mandate to protect the public against financial predators, in this case, so carefully documented in this blog?  

And how much are the citizens of Arizona paying for these and similar services rendered by the Office of the Attorney General? 
 Are we getting our money's worth? Are we well-served?
Does anyone in the state legislature care that our chief legal representative against financial fraud - the Office of the Arizona Attorney General - does little more than it absolutely must to fulfill its mandate?


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FYI

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anglen, Robert  (Arizona Republic & Call 12 for Action)
Date: Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 9:40 AM
Subject: Story on camelback consign
To: Glenn Michaels  



Story is in today's paper. Your blog is mentioned prominently in the story. Thanks for all of your help. Here is a link:


http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/consumer/call-12-for-action/2014/09/28/missing-painting-returned-owner/16373445/