The Curacao chain is sanctioned for abusing Hispanics with its auto insurance sales in California
The Curacao Store chain was penalized for the illegal sale of auto insurance to its Hispanic customers, who are mostly immigrants
The Los Angeles County Superior Court sanctioned Tiendas Curacao, a chain with 10 locations in Southern California and its owner Ron Azarkman, for illegally selling auto insurance to its customers, most of them Hispanic immigrants, and fined them about of $8 million dollars in penalties.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement about the ruling that the court found that Curacao illegally sold auto insurance through unqualified and unlicensed sellers and that Curacao and Azarkman were prohibited from engaging in such misconduct in the future. The court also imposed a $7,970,175 penalty in civil penalties against Curacao and its owner.
“Between today’s decision and the 2021 settlement, Curacao and its owner must finally be held accountable for enriching themselves at the expense of the retail chain’s low-income, Spanish-speaking, and immigrant customer base,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta.
Between today’s decision and the 2021 settlement, Curacao and its owner are finally being held to account for enriching themselves at the expense of the retail chain’s largely low-income, Spanish-speaking, and immigrant customer base. https://t.co/qxgRCyczuB— Rob Bonta (@AGRobBonta) February 2, 2023
“Curacao's unlawful business practice was directed, pervasive, and showed disregard for the state's consumer protection laws and for consumers,” Bonta said in a statement.
This is not the first time that the Curacao chain of stores has faced an indictment from the California Attorney General's Office.
In March 2021, Curacao reached a $10.5 million dollar settlement to settle a lawsuit alleging multiple allegations that the chain misled and illegally profited from its largely Latino customer base and undocumented immigrants.
The settlement relieved the debts of consumers who were harmed by Curacao's conduct. It also included additional debt forgiveness for clients who are still paying Curacao for illegal small claims judgments.
The company was also facing charges for the Curacao Credit Shield, a credit protection program similar to those offered by banks and credit card companies, but the court found no violations in this product.