LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is still fighting for customers who were affected by a Tippecanoe trash company. Zoeller has filed a second complaint against Tippecanoe Waste Removal, Inc., but this time in bankruptcy court.
Zoeller is making additional efforts to regain restitution for customers who paid for trash-collection service, but didn’t receive it from TWR. He is requesting the company’s debts owed to consumers not be discharged by the bankruptcy court, at which time Zoeller will continue to pursue the monies owed to customers effected through the Tippecanoe County Superior Court.
In January, the initial lawsuit was filed against the former Lafayette-based business for failing to collect trash after taking customers’ advance payments. In May, the owners of TWR, Kurt and Melissa Kanable, filed for bankruptcy protection and listed all consumer debts in their filings.
“The owners of Tippecanoe Waste Removal deliberately deceived consumers, taking payments for trash removal while knowing full well the services would not be provided,” Zoeller told News 18 in a release. “This type of deceptive business practice cannot go unpunished, and my office is committed to making every effort to ensure that this money is paid back to Tippecanoe community members who were wrongfully charged.”
According to the lawsuit, TWR failed to pick up trash beginning in late December and closed its doors in January. However, most consumers in the suit stated they made their upfront payments in December for the following three months of service, which would have been January through March.
TWR customers report losses ranging from $10 to $200, with a total lose of $15,748. Zoeller said it appears up to 5,000 consumers were affected.
According to Zoeller, the recent complaint argues that the Kanables knew — or should have known — they were going out-of-business, but continued to collect consumer payments regardless and used a portion of those payments to pay for personal goods and expenses such as clothing, video games and student loans.
TWR is accused of violating the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act and the state seeks a permanent injunction, consumer restitution, civil penalties and investigative costs.