Founders of U.S. Fidelis indicted on multiple felony charges

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KMOV.com

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:59 AM

(KMOV) -- Darain and Corey Atkinson used to live in multi-million dollar mansions, now the brothers and founders of a failed auto warranty business are in a holding cell in the St. Charles County prison.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Coster announced a multi-count indictment handed up by a grand jury against the Atkinsons.

Darain Atkinson faces 14 counts, most felonies, for stealing with consent, stealing by deceipt, unlawful merchandising practices, insurance fraud and running an unauthorized insurance business.

Corey Atkinson faces 13 counts, also most felonies, for stealing with consent, stealing by deceipt, unlawful merchandising practices, insurance fraud and running an unauthorized insurance business.

The Atkinsons are being arraigned in St. Charles County court Wednesday afternoon.  They will be held on a cash only bond.

The following is an excerpt from a news release from the Attorney General's office:

According to the indictments, the Atkinsons and their company sold vehicle repair coverage under both vehicle extended service contracts and contracts associated with various vehicle products. 

The indictments allege that the Atkinsons:

•    kept refunds that were due consumers;
•    charged fees in excess of the amount stated in the contract; and
•    told consumers they would get a pro rata refund if they canceled the contract, while intending to keep a portion of any refund. 

The indictments further charge that the Atkinsons misled consumers into believing:

•    the company was affiliated with auto manufacturers and dealers;
•    the consumer’s warranty had expired or was about to expire; and
•    the consumer had the opportunity to extend or reinstate the manufacturer’s warranty. 

According to the indictments, the Atkinsons also falsely represented to consumers that all vehicle repairs were covered and concealed from consumers the fact that the coverage contained liability limits and other conditions and exclusions from coverage.
 

The indictments also allege that Darain Atkinson is a prior offender as a result of a 1986 conviction of theft, forgery, and burglary in Kansas and a 1987 conviction of manufacturing counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes in the U.S. District Court, Kansas, and that Corey Atkinson is a prior offender as a result of a 1997 felony criminal trespass conviction in Colorado. 

If convicted, and because of his status as a prior and persistent felon, Darain Atkinson could face a term of up to life in prison.  If convicted on the most serious count, Corey Atkinson could face a term of up to 15 years in prison.

The charges against Darain and Corey Atkinson are merely accusations and, as in all criminal cases, the defendants are innocent until or unless proved guilty in a court of law.

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