Brenda Coles took on this fight on behalf of several tenants who said they were being taken advantage of by Jumpstart University and the Vasilios Education Center, which they thought were there to help them. Carl S. Vaughan was in charge of both of these shows. Coles thinks that Attorney General Jason Miyares is now making the landlord in Richmond answer for his actions.
“Carl Vaughan took in rent money. He moved people into apartments that didn’t belong to him, even though he said they did. Within a month or two, he sent out notices of eviction, and then he picked on people with kids and bad credit. He forced them to pay another month’s rent by being mean to them, and he did this for years and years and years “Coles said.
Miyares took over the case from Mark Herring, who was the Attorney General before Miyares. Last year, Herring sued Vaughan and Jump Start University. Now, the attorney general is making Vaughan pay back $10,000 to tenants who signed subleases over a six-year period and to those who paid program, service, or other fees for services that Vaughan never gave them.
Miyares told CBS6 that his office is committed to protecting vulnerable Virginians from abusive practices and will continue to hold bad actors accountable. As it stands, from January 1, 2016, until January 13, 2022, Jumpstart can’t collect any judgments against tenants. This is true for more than 175 judgments in the general district courts of Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield.
The attorney general’s office said that the total amount of these judgments is more than $200,000. “We did get some justice, that’s for sure. Carl Vaughan can ask for what’s his, but he’s not owed a dime “Coles said. But Vaughan’s lawyer said it’s important to think about the following parts of this agreement that Vaughan signed.
The defendants say they haven’t broken any laws, including the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The defendants don’t admit to breaking any state or federal law or being responsible for it, and the consent judgment doesn’t show or admit fault, liability, or wrongdoing. Coles, who used to be president of Richmond’s National Action Network, said she is happy that a former bookkeeper gave documents to then-AG Mark Herring, which led to an investigation.
She also thanks former renters for having the courage to come forward. She did say, though, that she still wants all the renters who were hurt to be made whole. “I want to do right by people who have been kicked out of their homes but haven’t moved on yet. They should be taken away. They are still having a hard time finding a good place to live “Coles said.
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