Rutledge: MH gunsmith sued for deceiving customers, failing to provide services or refunds

Photo: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

Troubles continue to mount for a Mountain Home gunsmith.

In the latest development, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed suit against Jayson Cotter of Mountain Home, owner of Investment Grade Firearms (IGF), for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Rutledge says consumers from across the nation hired Cotter for gunsmith work, but he habitually failed to return their parts or firearms and refused to provide refunds of upfront payments.

She says, “Cotter repeatedly used dirty tricks to deceive consumers into sending him gun parts and large sums of money for work that was never performed. Cotter and other bad businesses must be held accountable.”

The 45-year-old Cotter entered a not guilty plea to a charge of theft in Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday. He is currently free on $10,000 bond.

Photo: Jayson Cotter.

Cotter sold gunsmith services through his website, Consumers who contract with IGF for gunsmith services typically ship their firearms, parts and accessories, along with their complete, upfront payments, with expectations  they will receive their modified firearms within reasonable periods of time.

Eight consumers have filed unresolved complaints with the Attorney General claiming Cotter failed to deliver their completed firearms or refund their payments, sometimes for well over a year, and refused to respond to their phone calls or emails requesting status updates on prepaid orders.

Cotter was arrested July 31 and booked on a felony charge of theft of property in Baxter County. The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation, and additional charges are possible. The sheriff’s office has been working to return parts and firearms to their rightful owners for several months, but many consumers are still waiting to be made whole.

At the time of Cotter’s arrest, KTLO, Classic Hits and The Boot news reported some gun owners made complaints directly to the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office. In paperwork provided to KTLO, Classic Hits and The Boot news by the AG’s office, owners from Illinois, Tennessee, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Washington State, South Carolina and California have filed complaints with the Attorney General.

All those complaints were similar to those filed with the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office.

Attorney General Rutledge is requesting restitution, civil penalties, and injunctive relief and demands a jury trial. Victims of these business practices should file a consumer complaint on Arkansas Attorney General or call (800) 482-8982.

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