Attorney General Ken Paxton Sues Texas Company for Defrauding Veterans Seeking VA Disability Benefits
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued VA Claims Insider, LLC, (“VACI”) for engaging in deceptive trade practices to defraud veterans seeking disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”).
VA Claims Insider is a for-profit business selling memberships that provide “education-based” coaching and consulting services to veterans seeking help in obtaining disability benefits from the VA. However, VACI’s advertisements mislead and confuse veterans as to the cost of these memberships. Even though VACI frequently uses the word “free,” its 12-page contract charges exorbitant fees—including the requirement that a veteran pay VACI six times the amount of any disability increase he or she receives after signing up with VACI. Consumer complaints detail how VACI attempted to force disabled veterans to pay thousands of dollars for services the company did not provide or for successful claims that it had no role in filing.
While veterans can terminate the contract at any time with a 30-day written notice, VACI still demands payment for any subsequent increases in disability benefits or $5,000 in damages if the customer fails to notify it of an increase within one week. Further, consumer complaints reflect that the company specifically requested veterans to turn over their private information and VA account logins. Additionally, the company’s advertisements failed to disclose to potential customers that VACI is not accredited by the VA, cannot provide claim preparation services, and that the VA previously sent a cease-and-desist letter to VACI for potentially violating the law.
“It is deeply disappointing that this business took advantage of men and women who have given so much to our country,” said Attorney General Paxton. “I’m proud to advocate for justice for our Texas veterans at every opportunity.”
To read the petition, click here.
In the petition, the State alleges that in advertising and providing services to U.S. Military Veterans, Defendant has engaged in false, misleading, and deceptive acts and practices including by failing in its advertisements to disclose that Defendant requires Veterans to pay for its services based on a contingency fee structure and that Defendant requires payment for benefits related to claims filed by a Veteran prior to the Veteran’s entering into an agreement with Defendant. Plaintiff alleges