BOISE — Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced Thursday he has reached a settlement with the owners of a former Meridian company that allegedly accepted payments for fishing trips that it failed to deliver. The settlement requires the owners, Craig Keith Fletcher and Crystal Fletcher, of Meridian, to pay more than $100,000 in customer refunds.
The settlement wraps up a consumer protection case that began last year.
The Fletchers, through their business, Access Life’s Adventures, allegedly violated the Idaho Consumer Protection Act by failing to deliver Alaska fishing trips and other vacation trips for which customers paid thousands of dollars. The terms of the settlement require the Fletchers pay more than $100,954 to 25 customers they allegedly defrauded and permanently close the business.
“While stopping a business from further harming consumers is a primary enforcement goal for my office, recovering consumer restitution also is important,” Wasden said in a news release. “I’m therefore pleased the business has closed and that the owners have agreed to repay their customers.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division began investigating Access Life’s Adventures and the Fletchers in early 2019 after consumers complained they were defrauded. In July, the Attorney General filed a consumer protection lawsuit in Ada County District Court against the company and its owners.
The Fletchers deny the allegations detailed in the complaint, according to the settlement.
The consumer protection investigation found that some of the Fletchers’ customers were told days before their departure dates their trips were cancelled, the news release says. One customer told the Attorney General’s Office he arrived at an airport in Anchorage with his son, but no one showed up to take them to their hotel. After arranging their own transportation and hotel, they learned their trip was cancelled.
The company sometimes offered refunds but didn’t pay them, the release says.
The Idaho Statesman reported last year there were similar complaints against Fletcher-owned companies, including Access Life’s Adventures and another called Crazy Coho River Adventures, dating back more than a decade. Former employees, customers and other business owners filed complaints against Fletcher-owned businesses with seven different government agencies in Idaho and Alaska since 2005, the Idaho Statesman reported.
The settlement prohibits the Fletchers from advertising or selling vacation packages or travel or vacation-related goods or services from within Idaho for the next decade. The ban will continue indefinitely if the Fletchers fail to pay the customer refunds.