TENNESSEE (WATE) — The State Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Rustic Flag Company out of Middle Tennessee claiming, “deceptive and unfair trade practices.”
This is a business WATE first reported about a year ago; WATE Six On Your Side’s Don Dare says thousands of people ordered the decorative wooden flags but never received them.
The state and the Better Business Bureau say over 3,000 complaints were filed against the Rustic Flag Company, based out of Trenton, Tenn.
The lawsuit claims the company kept its customers in the dark about the hand-built flags, and failed to send thousands of them even though Rustic Flags was paid in advance.
It was a year ago this month that Josh Sadler, an Army veteran who served three tours in Iraq, showed us a decorative American flag he ordered from the Rustic Flag company in June 2018.
“As each flag is built by hang, please allow lead time for your item to be shipped.”Josh Sadler
Sadler paid $343 by debit card two years ago, but never got the flag despite months of broken promises.
This week, Sadler read a 15-page civil lawsuit filed by the State Attorney General against the Rustic Flag company.
“I’m so pleased to see that the Attorney General has stepped forward and said, okay, we see that there is a lot of wrongdoing here and we are going to go ahead and fix this.”Josh Sadler
The state claims, Justin Scott, the owner of Rustic Flag company and a veteran himself, deceived thousands of people and engaged in unfair practices by taking money for the decorative flags but never delivering them to customers.
“He took advantage of people, preyed on the veterans in the community, ripped off a lot of veterans, ripped off a lot of patriots.”Josh Sadler
In the lawsuit, the state says from company funds Justin Scott used $215,000 of a home loan, spent another $50,000 on two sports cars and $25,000 on landscaping his personal property.
“For you to play yourself as a veteran and prey on other people and say, hey I’m a veteran and I have veteran status, people will say ‘okay this guy has honor, this guy has got integrity.’ That’s not the case right here.”Josh Sadler
From the BBB, Rustic Flag received an F rating last year, the Bureau report shows a pattern of complaints from over 21 customers.
Kevin Walters from the Department of Commerce and Insurance says the state received more than a thousand complaints.
Justin Scott claims he fell behind and couldn’t keep up with demand. Now, the state has shut him down and has frozen his assets.
The state says orders made to Rustic Flag came from all over the United States. While many orders were delivered, when the business first started three years ago, thousands of others were delayed beginning in 2018 through 2019.
Presently, the Rustic Flag company is not in business and is awaiting future action by the court.
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