When 22-year-old Breanne Court contacted Durasmoke to complain about an exploding ecig, she was just hoping to make some fast cash. Court had heard from an acquaintance that Durasmoke paid thousands of dollars in damages to a man when his ecig battery caught on fire and burned his carpet. It seemed all too easy to file her own complaint with the ecig company and make some extra money. However, the young woman never imagined that the ecig company would actually investigate her claim. Now her money making scheme has backfired in a big way.
Employees at Durasmoke said Court’s claim immediately roused suspicion. They had never had any problems with battery accidents, explosions, or fires before. Then they suddenly were dealing with two almost identical stories coming from the same small town. Something just didn’t add up. Durasmoke contacted the Milwaukee District Attorney for advice and Ann Targonski immediately went to work on the company’s behalf.
After she investigated the complaints, it became clear that someone was lying. No one was able to prove the original complaint was falsified, but it was easy to see that Court was lying. The woman had told Durasmoke that her ecig caught on fire and burned the carpet in her rental home and she needed $4,500 to pay for the damage. But Targonski found out that Court lived with her parents and had no rental property. When she confronted Court about the inconsistencies in her story, the woman decided to come clean. She admitted that the whole story was made up in an effort to make some easy cash.
Targonski is now fighting to keep Court from making false claims against other companies in the future. The woman was charged with criminal attempt to commit theft by deception. “Fraudulent crimes of this type result in increased insurance rates for all private retail companies selling consumer goods across the nation,” Targonski said.
Durasmoke was smart to take action and investigate the claims before doling out any cash reimbursements. With the ecig industry already facing so much criticism, any story about an exploding ecig is damaging. It’s a relief to see this woman prosecuted so that others will know that there is no tolerance for telling lies about electronic cigarettes to gain money or media attention. It simply isn’t acceptable and it’s very illegal.
Do you believe Court should serve time in prison for her fraudulent claims?