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WAUKESHA - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that on August 13, 2012, Milwaukee County Resident James D. Gardetto pled to six charges of engaging in unfair trade practices, one charge of felony bail jumping and one charge of obstructing a police officer. Mr.Gardetto was convicted by the Honorable Jennifer Dorow, upon pleading to the charges.
According to the criminal complaint in Waukesha County Case No. 11CM1115, Mr. Gardetto agreed to the entry of an order of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection in 2003. Among other things, the order required that Mr. Gardetto refrain from engaging in specific unfair trade practices, such as refusing to return a consumer's property and attempting to enforce unconscionable contract clauses. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection discovered that Mr. Gardetto violated the order on multiple occasions. In addition to these violations, the criminal complaint alleged that Gardetto failed to disclose his business location and lied to consumers in order to obtain their money and their property.
According to the criminal complaint in Waukesha County Case No. 12CF0037, James Gardetto engaged in unfair trade practices between June 29, 2011, and August 24, 2011, by misrepresenting his business affiliations and locations to consumers of television repair services. Additionally, Gardetto provided a false business address to a police detective who was investigating his practices. Most of the charged conduct occurred after Gardetto was ordered by a Wisconsin State Circuit Court, in the context of a felony case, not to commit any new crimes as a condition of his release.
At the plea hearing the court used the criminal complaints, among other things, as the factual basis for Mr. Gardetto's eight convictions.
At sentencing, Gardetto faces a maximum of 12 years and 9 months of imprisonment and $50,000.00 in fines. Sentencing has been set for October 22, 2012.
The charges were the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The Wisconsin Department of Justice would also like to extend special thanks to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, the City of Cudahy Police Department, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the State Crime Laboratory, and the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office.
Wisconsin Statute Chapter 950 Victim Services are being provided by the Office of the Waukesha County District Attorney. Assistant Attorney General Eric D. Défort represents the State of Wisconsin as special prosecutor in this criminal prosecution.
Copies of the criminal complaints are available at: