LOS ANGELES (CN) – Visa swiped $397,000 from a client for unsubstantiated “fines and fees,” while refusing to inform the client what it supposedly had done, Kabuki Restaurants says in a class action. “Plaintiffs were never told what their potential violations were, or what the fine amounts could be for any specific violations. Visa simply kept more than $300,000 from Kabuki, and similar amounts from other plaintiffs,” according to the complaint in Superior Court.
Kabuki says Visa withheld $396,737.70, alleging unspecific “alleged security violations.”
“Neither Visa nor Chase has provided plaintiff with any documentation justifying their improper withholdings,” the complaint states. “Chase simply informed Kabuki that Visa was imposing fines for alleged CISP [Cardholder Information Security Program] violations. Plaintiffs were not informed of any specific alleged violations. Nor were plaintiffs given the opportunity to remedy any alleged violations before the ‘fines’ were unilaterally imposed. Plaintiffs were never told what their potential violations were, or what the fine amounts could be for any specific violations. Visa simply kept more than $300,000 from Kabuki, and similar amounts from other plaintiffs.
“Plaintiffs attempted to conduct their own investigation to determine what, if any, securities violations they had committed to justify Visa’s ‘fines.’ The agreement between plaintiffs and Chase fails to state any specific proscribed conduct. It simply refers to CISP. The CISP link of Visa’s Web site similarly fails to mention any specific proscribed conduct that might justify fines against plaintiffs. From reviewing the agreement with Chase and the CISP Web page, there is simply no way for plaintiffs to know what requirements are imposed upon them, what potential fines might be imposed upon them for failing to meet the requirements, or what actions they might take to ensure compliance with the requirements. Plaintiffs were simply informed one day that Visa was keeping their money.”
Kabuki wants its money back and punitive damages for conversion and unfair business practices. It is represented by Daniel Park with Lurie & Park.