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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Business Says Newspaper Pulled a Fast One

DENVER (CN) - A defunct newspaper charged $19,000 to a construction company's credit card for ads it didn't authorize, and the ads never appeared in print, the roofer claims in court.

Northwestern Builders dba North West Roofing sued C.P. Ink, dba North Denver News and its owner, Guerin Green, alleging civil theft in Denver County Court.

The News published a monthly mailer to six neighborhoods in Denver before going out of business two years ago, according to the lawsuit.

North West Roofing claims that in 2010 it paid by credit cards for ads to run in the June through November editions of the News - but the News kept billing the credit card for two more years.

"Beginning in October 2011, and continuing through September 2013, defendants used the American Express credit card to obtain unauthorized funds totaling $19,826.00 from plaintiff's account, at times making charges two times per month," the complaint states.

"When plaintiff confronted Green regarding the unauthorized American Express credit card charges, Green indicated that the contract terms provided that plaintiff's advertisement would run monthly, and that defendants would pursue payment for the contract through April 2014."

Nope, that wasn't the deal, North West Roofing says. If claims the only contract it signed contained "no price for advertising, frequency of advertisement, or any material terms of a 'contract.'"

What's more, the roofer says: "North Denver News has been out of print for at least two last two years. Plaintiff never authorized a single advertisement for online publication."

And another detail: "Green and North Denver News did not place an advertisement for plaintiff in either the printed version of North Denver News or the online electronic version of North Denver News from October 2001 to September 2013. However, placement of any advertisement during that time period on behalf of plaintiff would have been unauthorized," according to the complaint.

North West Roofing wants its money back and damages for civil theft, unauthorized use of a financial transaction device, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment and violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.

It is represented by Patrick Vellone with Allen & Vellone.

The North Denver News web page, viewed this morning, claimed the paper is mailed to 14,177 homes in four North Denver neighborhoods. There were some stories on the page, but a large blank appeared in the section where the news traditionally runs.

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