court courts justice

RALEIGH — A Wake County Superior Court judge ordered Monday that an international shipping company refund it consumers and banned it from operating in North Carolina. 

A news release from the N.C. Attorney General's Office said Medrano Express, Diamond Shipping, Inc. and Jorge Medrano are permanently banned from the shipping business in North Carolina after Judge Donald Stephens signed a default judgement on Monday. 

Medrano Express, which is based in Hempstead, N.Y. and operates under the name Diamond Shipping, specializes in shipping items to Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico. The company operates in 20 states and had offices in Raleigh and Charlotte. 

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a lawsuit last year against Medrano Express asking the court to order the defendant return all unshipped packages or reimburse consumers for the value of their contents. 

The lawsuit was filed after 118 consumers complained that Medrano Express never delivered packages, provided false shipping date estimates and failed to return undelivered packages or provided false refunds, the news release stated. 

The attorney general's office also said the defendants can't collect payments from North Carolina consumers for packages or shipping and can't take advance payments for any type of business in the state. 

The judgement states that the company must also payback $135,443 in consumer refunds and pay $660,000 in civil penalties. 

The defendants filed for bankruptcy, but the attorney general's office filed a proof of claim in the bankruptcy in an attempt to collect on the judgement, the release stated. 

The attorney general's office encourages consumers who shipped packages that didn't arrive through Medrano Express to file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-No-Scam or the Spanish language line at 919-716-0058. People can also file a complaint online.

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