123Mountain faces frozen assets, eviction following Summit County court order
March 30, 2016
Following a request by the Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, the Summit County District Court granted an ex parte restraining order and asset freeze on Monday that prevents local outdoor retailer 123Mountain from continuing online sales. The motion came in light of several complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, Lakewood Police and the attorney general's office.
While the Attorney General's office would not comment on the case, chief communication director Roger Hudson noted they had been contacted about the company and "do review also those complaints and investigate them at that level."
Lakewood Police public information officer Steve Davis said their department had compiled "as many cases as possible" to submit to the attorney general.
"We had quite a few complaints on them over a three-year period," he added. "Somewhere around a dozen."
More than 80 reviews on Yelp give 123Mountain a one-star rating, with customers reporting orders never arrived or would not be shipped for two years. One South Korean customer won a civil suit against the company after $88,000 in sleeping bags was never delivered.
Consumers also reported issues with returns: A Colorado couple who bought a pair of skis in-store were denied a refund when trying to return a pair of telemark skis still left in the packaging, despite 123Mountain's "unlimited return policy" advertised online.
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Court documents show the temporary restraining order was granted to prevent "ongoing violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA)."
"Immediate and irreparable injury to additional consumers will occur without a temporary restraining order because the Defendants attract a significant number of consumers to their website through their deceptive advertising, and inflict additional harm on consumers by misleading consumers into purchasing goods from the Defendants that Defendants cannot purchase in a reasonable time frame, if at all," the court order read. "In view of the continuing and serious harm to consumers … and in light of the Defendants' lack of responsiveness during the State's investigation, the entry of a temporary restraining order without notice to Defendants is both necessary and appropriate."
By the terms of the temporary restraining order, 123Mountain is prohibited from advertising, selling or accepting orders on the Internet or advertising or selling merchandise that they do not have in their physical possession or requires shipment to customers.
Owners Olivier and Anna Sofia Goumas and their employees are required to de-activate 123mountain.com and summitwearhouse.com within 48 hours, as well as any Ebay, Facebook, Craigslist or Etsy sites.
While 123mountain.com is still online, Outside Magazine noted the couple was preparing to launch a new site, summitwearhouse.com, which currently exists as a blank GoDaddy site. An Ebay member of the same name has been active since May 2011, with more than 260 sales and primarily positive reviews.
In addition, per the court order, the Goumases will be required to refund all customers within 10 days for orders that had not been delivered, unless they can show the product has been ordered by a manufacturer or third party to fill the order. 123Mountain is also forbidden from charging customers seeking a refund, exchange or return; in the past, the company had charged customers a 15-percent cancellation fee.
By the terms of the asset freeze, 123Mountain may not transfer, gift or dispose of assets held in a minimum of 21 listed accounts.
Attempts to contact 123Mountain by phone were unsuccessful.
Per court records, the company will face its second eviction since opening in Summit County. 123Mountain first opened in Lakewood, before opening a second store at the base of Copper Mountain in 2012. The company was evicted in early 2015 after failing to pay two months in rent, before opening a new store in Frisco last June.
123Mountain faces eviction again, as landlord Larry Feldman noted he had not seen rent since November.
"There's a difference between starting a business and having it fail or cheating people," Feldman said in a previous interview. "The record speaks for itself."
Condos Off Main, Ltd. filed a complaint earlier this year against Summit Peak LLC, one of the Goumas' many registered businesses. On Monday, the court approved an order for an entry of judgment and a writ of restitution, with a 48-hour waiting period before the Summit County Sheriff's Office may carry out the eviction.
Just two weeks ago, the sheriff's office seized most of 123Mountain's inventory from its Frisco location. The skis, jackets and other equipment will be sold through a future Summit County Sheriff's sale to repay a debt of more than $30,000 to an Ohio man who never received compensation after redesigning 123Mountain's website.
The Summit County District Court will also hold an evidentiary hearing on April 6 at 9 a.m. to address the Colorado Attorney General's request for a preliminary injunction, which would prevent 123Mountain from conducting online business until a final judgment is made.
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