Raleigh Geeks, a computer-repair company, has been barred from the business and ordered to repay customers, whom they bilked, according to the North Carolina Department of Justice. A Wake County judge today ordered company employees to pay restitution costs and legal penalties totaling $455,000.
According to a complaint filed last year, Timothy Staie and Mark White of Raleigh Geeks regularly accepted upfront payments for computer repairs without working to complete the repairs on time, if at all. In some instances, Raleigh Geeks returned completely different computers to customers, pretending they were the originals, the complaint said.
The Consumer Protection Division received 69 complaints from consumers who lost hundreds of dollars each from Raleigh Geeks, along with personal information including children's schoolwork, family photos and work product. Some lost their computers, Attorney General Roy Cooper's Office said.
Cooper's office says it recovered 133 pieces of equipment and returned 37 of them to their owners. Many computers are still missing.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael J. O'Foghludha today ordered Staie and White to return any still-missing computers, pay $10,425.53 in restitution to customers, and pay up to $445,000 in civil penalties related to deceptive and unfair business practices.
Raleigh Geeks also operated as Caveman Computers, ProTech Computers and Fuquay Computer Center, with locations in Raleigh, Apex, Fuquay-Varina and Garner.
The Consumer Protection Division's phone number is 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.