Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
Jason S. Miyares
202 North 9th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
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Attorney General Miyares Holds Accountable Richmond-Based Landlord
~ JumpStart U2, Inc., Vasilios Education Center Inc., and Carl Vaughan allegedly misrepresented landlord-tenant activity, hurting Virginia consumers ~
RICHMOND, VA – Attorney General Jason Miyares (me-YAR-ez) announced today that he has reached a settlement with JumpStart U2, Inc. f/k/a Jump Start University, Incorporated (“JumpStart”), Vasilios Education Center Inc. a/k/a Vasilios Supportive Housing Initiative (“VEC”), and Carl S. Vaughan (“Vaughan”), for allegedly violating the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (“VCPA”) and the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (“VRLTA”).
The lawsuit alleged that JumpStart, VEC, and Vaughan violated the VCPA by falsely advertising programs offered to low-income tenant consumers and misrepresenting that the tenant consumers were entering into a “housing program” or “housing initiative” that offered something beyond traditional landlord-tenant housing. The lawsuit also alleged that, at various times after January 1, 2016, they failed to disclose the identity of the owner of the leased premises in the subleases they used and that the subleases did not comply with the VRLTA.
“We will not tolerate landlords who take advantage of Virginians seeking affordable housing by violating and ignoring laws designed to protect Virginia consumers. My office is dedicated to protecting vulnerable Virginians from such abusive practices, and we will continue to hold bad actors accountable,” said Attorney General Miyares.
JumpStart, VEC, and Vaughan cannot:
- Misrepresent to consumers concerning service programs;
- Advertise any service programs that are not made available for and actually provided to consumers;
- Charge consumers any program or service fees for any service programs that are not made available for and actually provided to consumers, whether charged on a one-time, monthly, or other periodic basis;
- Use any portion of any rental payments or other monies received from consumers to pay for service programs that are not made available for and actually provided to consumers;
- Fail to return any security deposit payments received from consumers in the manner, and within the timelines, required by the VRLTA; and
- Disclaim the landlord’s obligation to provide consumers with fit and habitable premises in the manner required by the VRLTA. The Defendants are affirmatively required to offer subleases that comply with the VRLTA and to disclose to their tenant consumers that the lease they offer is a sublease and provide contact information for the primary landlord.
Finally, JumpStart, VEC, and Vaughan cannot collect on any judgments they obtained against tenant consumers from January 1, 2016, through January 13, 2022. Over 175 judgments were obtained against tenant consumers in the General District Courts of the City of Richmond, Chesterfield County, and Henrico County during the 6-year period, exceeding $200,000.
JumpStart, VEC, and Vaughan are also required to:
- Pay $10,000 for restitution to consumers who entered subleases with any of them during the Relevant Period and who paid program, service, or other fees for service programs that were not provided. Consumers who believe they may be eligible for such restitution are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section.
- Provide certain information in their possession relating to consumers who contact the Commonwealth to inquire about their eligibility for restitution and/or the judgment forgiveness relief provided under the settlement.
For additional information on the settlement or to file a complaint about a consumer protection matter, please contact Attorney General Miyares's Consumer Protection Section:
- By phone: (800) 552-9963
- Online Complaint Form: https://www.oag.state.va.us/consumer-protection/index.php/file-a-complaint
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