TUCSON - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a judge ordered a Tucson business owner to go to jail for continuing to scam consumers in violation of a 2010 Arizona Consumer Fraud Judgment. In May 2016, a Pima County Superior Court Judge found Claude Thomas Kennedy in contempt of court and ordered him to pay a $100,000 fine by June 10, 2016 or face jail time. Kennedy did not pay the fine, and the court issued an arrest warrant for Kennedy on June 16, 2016. Kennedy's whereabouts are unknown at this time.
In 2010, the Attorney General’s Office won a Consumer Fraud Lawsuit against Kennedy. A court ordered Kennedy to pay nearly $500,000 after defrauding Arizona consumers in a motorhome sales scheme. Kennedy would falsely offer motorhome owners the chance to sell their motorhomes claiming he would find new owners to assume the loan payments. Kennedy defrauded both the original owners and the so-called buyers who paid thousands of dollars in down payments for motorhomes and never received the title. The actual owners of the motorhomes were stuck with the bills that Kennedy had guaranteed would be paid and no motorhomes to show for it. The court ordered Kennedy to stop selling, purchasing, or leasing motorhomes.
Kennedy did not pay restitution as required by the 2010 judgment. The State’s collection efforts were unsuccessful.
In 2015, the Attorney General’s Office received new consumer complaints against Kennedy and filed a petition to find Kennedy in contempt of court for ignoring the court’s 2010 order. During an April 2016 hearing, consumers testified Kennedy had utilized the same motorhome sales scheme to defraud them. Based on the evidence presented, the Court found Kennedy in contempt of court.
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Emedi handled this matter.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6504, or outside the metro areas at (800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General’s website.