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Post date: February 16 2016

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Agreement With Former Schimshack’s Restaurant To Refund Consumers For Gift Certificates

Schimshack’s To Issue Refunds To Consumers Whose Claims Are Received By A.G.’S Office By April 10th Schneiderman: Businesses Have A Responsibility To Refund Gift Certificate Balances When They Close Their Doors

BUFFALO – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office has entered into an agreement with the former Schimshack’s Restaurant, formerly located on Upper Mountain Road in Sanborn. Shimshack went out of business in October 2015 and consumers filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office over unused gift card balances that had not yet been refunded.

“Gift certificate holders deserve a full and fair refund when a business is forced to close its doors,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “I am pleased that today’s agreement will ensure that customers are made whole and I strongly encourage those who believe they have an unused gift certificate balance to contact my office.”

The restaurant was a well-known establishment before it went out of business last October. The former owner reported that the business went under as a result of the devaluation of Canadian currency, the rising cost of supplies, and two unusually harsh winters. While the company had sold gift certificates, it had not deposited the funds into a separate escrow account. Instead, the funds were used for day-to-day operating costs.

Schimshack’s acknowledges that it failed to keep a record of the persons to whom it sold gift certificates.  Instead, the business treated the gift certificates like bearer bonds; anyone who presented a gift certificate received its value.

Consumers who have an outstanding gift card balance can file a complaint with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Office by calling 716-853-8404. Complaints must be received no later than April 10, 2016.

This matter was handled by James M. Morrissey in the Buffalo Regional Office and Karen Davis, Senior Consumer Fraud Representative. The Buffalo Regional Office is led by Michael Russo. The Division of Regional Offices is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Marty Mack.