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Owner of 22 Midas auto repair shops settles fraud allegations

Maurice Irving Glad, the owner of 22 Midas auto repair shops, agreed Monday to pay $1.8 million to settle allegations from the California attorney general’s office that his shops charged some customers hundreds of dollars for repairs they didn’t need.

“For years, Glad ran a bait-and-switch scam, in which he deceptively lured customers into his Midas shops with cheap brake specials, then charged them hundreds of dollars more for unnecessary repairs,” Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said in a statement announcing the settlement.

Midas International Corp. will acquire Glad’s 22 shops and honor all guarantees or warranties previously made or given to customers, the attorney general’s office said in the statement.

Glad’s attorneys did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

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The settlement came after a four-year undercover investigation into Glad’s shops by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair to make sure Glad’s Midas shops were in compliance with a 1989 injunction against the businesses for similar violations, the attorney general’s office said.

The investigation found that Glad was in violation of the injunction and regularly advertised $79 to $99 brake specials at his Midas shops to draw in customers and then often charged an additional $110 to $130 for unnecessary brake-rotor resurfacing, the statement said.

In some cases, customers were charged hundreds of dollars more for repairs that were never performed, the attorney general’s office said.

Last June, the investigation led to a lawsuit by the state attorney general’s office, the Alameda County district attorney’s office and the Fresno County district attorney’s office.

In addition to paying the $1.8 million in damages, Glad is permanently barred from engaging in any business that requires any type of license or registration issued by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair, the settlement said.

Glad’s shops, all in the state, are in Campbell, Clovis, Concord, Dublin, Fremont, Fresno, Hayward, Manteca, Merced, Modesto, San Jose, San Leandro, Turlock and Walnut Creek.

Anyone who believes they have been overcharged by an auto repair shop can file a complaint with the California Department of Consumer Affairs by calling (800) 952-5210 or online at www.autorepair.ca.gov "> www.autorepair.ca.gov .

nathan.olivarezgiles@

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latimes.com


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