Monday, December 12, 2011

Arizona Attorney General Sues Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda for Fraud

Well, we all knew this was coming. Today, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne issued a press release, announcing that the State of Arizona is suing Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda for fraud. The press release is as follows:

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HORNE ANNOUNCES LAWSUIT ACCUSING PHOENIX-AREA GUN DEALER OF DEFRAUDING CUSTOMERS

PHOENIX (Monday, December 12, 2011) -- A Phoenix-area firearms dealer is the subject of a consumer fraud lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court by Attorney General Tom Horne.

The suit contends that Lancaster Arms, LLC, which is owned by co-defendants Chester and Marsha Durda, defrauded consumers by failing to provide promised merchandise and services to dozens of customers between February of 2009 and September of 2011.

“Protecting consumers is one of the most important jobs of this office,” Horne said. “Businesses such as the one named in this lawsuit cannot be allowed to make promises to customers and not deliver on those promises. The problem is made even worse when, as in this case, some customers made advance payments with the expectation that they would get either merchandise or services in return, and instead they got nothing. The legal action requests that the court order the business to make restitution, pay penalties, and prevent it from defrauding additional consumers.”

According to the complaint, Lancaster Arms claimed to consumers, some of whom worked in law enforcement and the military, and to some weapons dealers, on the internet and through personal contact by Chester Durda, that the company sold weapons, parts and accessories and that it provided weapon kit assembly services to consumers who sent their kits to the company. Additionally, Lancaster Arms represented that some of its weapons were subject to its “Limited Life Time Warranty”. The lawsuit alleges that Lancaster Arms failed to ship merchandise that consumers had paid for, failed to repair weapons under warranty, and failed to provide refunds. The lawsuit also alleges that Lancaster Arms failed to assemble weapons kits sent to it by consumers and failed to return the un-assembled kits to the consumers or to provide them with refunds. The complaint asks the court to enter an injunction prohibiting the defendants from engaging in any further unlawful acts, require the defendants to restore money and property to consumers, order the payment of civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation, and to reimburse the State’s court costs and other related expenses.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Cherie Howe.

A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
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In reading this, I find it a little puzzling that the Goodyear Police Department earlier this year stated that they couldn't find evidence of "intentional" fraud, when the Arizona AG now clearly says otherwise. Will the Goodyear Police now re-open their criminal investigation? And what does the ATF think of all this? Surely they now understand that there is no way this guy should have a Federal Firearms License.

I suspect we'll be hearing more on all of this soon.

62 comments:

  1. I got the letter yesterday from the AZ AG. Looks like I certainly won't get my rifle (I came to this conclusion months ago) maybe I'll get some of my money back? I'm not holding my breath but it would be nice.

    At least this asshat won't be ripping anyone else off and hopefully getting what he deserves.

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  2. Got the AG's letter also. While I might be out the bucks, at least the AZ AG will likely shut this lying piece of trash down for good. As for the BATFE, I wrote the PHX office a year or so ago - never heard anything back, but now we all know they were busy selling guns to drug dealers.

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  3. Hello , received phone call from Chet, he's sending my kits back and a check. Supposedly. But did get tracking numbers on the kits. One tracking number is correct, the other A LIE! Oyeah one more thing Lancasters FFL Has Expired as of 12-1-2011. Chet Has to remedy the problems now or face up to $12,000.00 fine for each count of fraud. If you to have a claim please file with the Arizona States Attorney. This is the only way you hav a chance of getting anything.

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  4. Luke, I'm glad Chet CLAIMS he is sending your kits back. It just begs the question...what on Earth made him think he could not return those kits to you to begin with? (Make no mistake about it, if it weren't for the AG's involvement, Durda wouldn't be doing jack shit to return your property.)

    Stay on him. Chet has a history of telling the AG that he has returned money and/or property, when he hasn't. The Arizona Attorney General finally got tired of his constant lying and sleaziness and just sued him for fraud. He's now probably scrambling to figure out who he ripped off so that he can return that money and avoid the massive amount of fines he will otherwise pay.

    Make sure if he returns your kits, that they are actually YOUR kits. Here too, Durda has a history of returning guns and parts to people that are different than what was sent in.

    For everyone else, if Lancaster Arms took you for a ride, let the Arizona Attorney General's office know! If you were ripped off and you're too lazy to file a complaint about it, that's on you. This lawsuit will likely be your ONE opportunity to get your money back. Unlike with the many other people who have sued Chet Durda, the AG has "teeth". They can seize Chet Durda's assets and bank accounts, garnish any income he has, and otherwise make sure he pays everything that is owed. If Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda have taken and not returned your money and/or property, you would be a fool to not complain about it to the Arizona AG.

    As for Chet Durda, here's to hoping that Santa Claus brings him a moral compass for Christmas.

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  5. I got my letter from Atty. Gen. Haven't heard from Chet (jackass!!!) I probably won't talk to him but if he calls I'll let the machine answer for me. And then Call Atty. Gen. Wish to thank them and Det. Stall for helping me so far! Happy New Year...no not you Chet! Chet needs some chain gang experience.

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  6. I got my kits. Guess What Incomplete. No Refund yet. Chet is going to F--- Me to the end. Believe it, I am not going to withdraw my charges quite yet.

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  7. I'm not surprised, Luke. Durda will half-ass his efforts to make good on things, just like he half-asses everything. He simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing. About anything.

    Under NO circumstances should you withdrawal your complaint until every molecule of kit you sent to him is returned to you.

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  8. Anon, were your advised not to talk or "work" with Chet to get your Items and or money back? Just curious. I have not talked to the A G Office or investigator. I wrote them and I have been receiving letters but they did not give any advice. I Just want my kits any money back. I am tired of the game. If I could fly to Suprise AZ. I would give Chet a late gift with a size 13.

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  9. Lancaster Chop Shop LLC

    I called Chet, to ask where my bolt, front sight, hammer springs, cleaning rod, muzzle nut, and lower hand guard clasp/ lock is. Guess what it was all a big suprise to him. My numbers matching kits are F-----. I have zero faith Ill get any money or my parts back. Some one that got a Lancaster Ak got my parts. Man, Now Thats a Business Man! He ruined $700.00 worth of Kits, Any advice? I have Zero cool Left. O yeah one more thing My boxes where mailed from Suprise AZ not Goodyear.

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  10. Luke, I'm not surprised to hear any of this. And it's not at all hard to believe that Chet Durda would feign ignorance when you called him and asked where in the hell the other half of your kit was.

    Chet knows darn well where your parts are: probably on someone else's rifle. Otherwise, why would he not return them??? That he would lie to you and act all surprised, is itself not surprising. If Chet Durda's mouth is open, he's lying. It really is that simple with him.

    DO NOT GIVE UP!!! What you must do now is CALL the attorney who is handling the fraud case against Chet Durda (her name is Cherie Howe), and explain to her what happened. It is very important that Ms. Howe completely understands what Chet has been doing, so that she can most effectively prosecute the case.

    And whatever you do, MAKE SURE the AG's office understands that you have not received your complete kit back yet! Perhaps you can write a quick letter, informing them that you received only half of your kit, and that you suspect the other half was used by Durda to build other rifles.

    I say this, because I'll GUARANTEE that Chet Durda is going to tell the AG's office, "I returned Luke's kit to him." He'll just lie about it, like he lies about everything.

    But don't lose hope, Luke. The AG's office is now aware of Durda's shenanigans, which is precisely why they're suing him for fraud. As long as you do your part (keeping the AG informed), they'll do theirs. And when all is said and done, you WILL receive all the compensation owed to you for your irreplaceable AK parts kits.

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  11. Matt, just my choice not to talk to him/ will not trust his lies!!!

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  12. I was the one who sent in my stock set for refinishing. Holy dang...Chet actually sent it back to me...finally after 6.5 months, 12 phone calls, more than a dozen emails, a police report filed, certified letter sent, and complaint filed with the AG office, I got the stock set back and it was complete. Wow. I am shocked.

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  13. STILL NOTHING. NO PARTS NO REFUND ITS BEEN IN THE MAIL FOR ABOUT 4 WEEKS. CHET IS A CLASSY GUY.

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  14. Just so you all know. Lancaster Arms has moved from Goodyear Arizona to Surprise Arizona. That is located just outside Sun City retirement district and about a Half hour from Phoenix. I sent my Ak back in August and got the same run-a-rounds everyone else has explained here. I just kept leaving vmails and emails for Chet every week to remind them I was still here. They have been moving all their stock, inventory, machines, every single thing including your pieces and parts, and my gun from across the city. The problem with my gun is they had a bad run of barrels and got screwed in the recession like other vendors and now Lancaster is scrambling to get them all fixed while at the same time make money off new sales. Unfortunately this is not a huge corporate company, there's like 4 or 5 people hence why no callbacks or emails for a month or so. They do need more staff to handle customer support which is extremely poor HOWEVER - Chet sent me a new AK and gave me a tactical version instead of plain ole' Bulgarian version. This is one mint condition nicely made and machined weapon. Was it worth the wait holy shit yes but was the wait really offending to me when they didn't return calls....yes....you'll get your stuff back or better but, it'll just take 6-9 months. If you can wait an extremely long time with little or no contact that this is the business you've been looking for OTHERWISE BUY AN ARSENAL. They are top of the line and only 200 bucks more on their low end units.

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    1. Anonymous, if the problems Lancaster is having were as innocent as you make it sound, the AG wouldn't have sued them for fraud. Delays and such can be excused, but some of the things Lancaster has done over the years show a very clear intent to defraud. For example, sending a phony tracking number to customers is not "an innocent mistake"...it is a deliberate attempt to make the customer believe they have a shipment coming, when they don't.

      It's pretty obvious that Chet Durda was running a ponzi scheme, where he was using money and parts from new customers to fulfill orders for customers who - in some cases - had been waiting for YEARS for their guns. This is precisely why many of the people who DID get any parts back, are claiming the parts they got back are not what they sent to Chet! In some cases, Lancaster was sent valuable gun parts, and they returned cheap generic parts back to the customer. Here too, that is not a "mistake". It is deliberate fraud.

      Even to this day, Chet Durda still continues to lie about anything and everything. Read his response to the court in the fraud lawsuit. Chet lied his ass off in that response! Although to those of us who know Chet, this is not a surprise. He's a professional con man, doing what professional con men do.

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  15. LOL @ Anonymous! Is Chester trolling on this blog? This sounds like the bs frothing strait from Chester Durda's mouth. Anonymous, if that were the case, then why haven't the people who paid Lancaster money nearly 3 YEARS ago received either their money back or ordered gun?

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  16. Triangles I think you hit the nail on the head there. I am not a detective but I know one thing I have been waiting for my refund for 1 year 3 months. This is the norm of any good business. (RIGHT). I also want to know if the guy with stock kit above got his refund???? Tired of the run around. Is any one near Suprise AZ? I wish I sent my kits to Vector In UTAH, I would have paid $500.00 more. BUT THEN AGAIN I WOULDNT BE OUT OF 2 NUMBER MATCHED KITS AND $710.00. ANOTHER SIDE NOTE AT THE SAME TIME I SENT THE 2 KITS TO LANCASTER, I SENT A 3RD TO WACO ARMS IN OHIO. GUESS WHAT I GOT THAT GUN 100% MINT BACK IN 1.5 MONTHS ALL I HAD TO PAY WAS ABOUT $85.00 MORE. I HOPE THE COURT SYSTEM PUTS THE SCREWS TO CHET AND THE GANG. O YEAH CHET I WANT MY F--KING MONEY BACK. WHAT IS HARD ABOUT THIS YOU DID NOT BUILD ME 2 GUNS. YOU LOST MY SHIT. AND NOW I AM OUT $710.00. CHET KEEP UP THE GREAT TROLLING...

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  17. ANOTHER SATISFIED CUSTOMERFebruary 16, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    I have read that trolling add 3 times now, Its great. BUY LANCASTER ITS A HARD LUCK STORY STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEKS STORY STRAIGHT OUT OF CHETS MOUTH.

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  18. WELL WELL WELL..... I got my refund check today. We will see if it dont bounce like a rubber ball. I got replacement parts not my originals and I am not satisfied with that.

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    1. Luke, let the AG know that you didn't get YOUR parts back. I will absolutely guarantee that Chet will report to the court that he gave you back what he owes you, despite the fact that he sent you back parts that aren't your own. Chet Durda is a straight-up con man, and he's so arrogant, he even thinks he's going to be able to con the legal system. Show him otherwise by reporting that you did NOT get your parts back! If people don't call Durda on his bullshit, those people are only enabling him to keep on conning others.

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  19. I sent him a rifle to replace a bad receiver (not one of his) and replace the barrel. After what seemed like a hundred calls, e-mails, and snail mail letters I got it back 6 months later with a new receiver but the old barrel. When I asked why he didn't replace the barrel he said his guy checked out the barrel and it was OK. Excuse me, I didn't ask you to check the barrel (which was not OK - out of tolerance on headspace too) but replace it! It took me another month to get my refund for the barrel (he probably never had any in stock - a common complaint!).
    I had earlier bought one of his 74's and found out that it was on the recall list for an oversized gas port causing the bolt carrier to blow off the rear trunion. "Send it back" he said. No way Jose! I'll fix it myself. I haven't shot it much so I don't know if it indeed was oversized. Bought me a vented gas tube to try to relieve some of the pressure - just in case.

    I hope the AG puts him out of business!

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  20. I can tell you, you won't get anything back, even with the AG on him. You can't get blood from a turnip. He has his personal funds so hidden, no personal banking, no property in his name... etc... etc...

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  21. All of you should read the response Durda filed with the court. He flat-out lied by saying he never operated his business as Lancaster Arms LLC (the Interent proves he lied), and by saying he has returned everything he owes to everyone who is owed something. This guy has some balls, deliberately lying to the court like that. I hope they hang him out to dry. I'll bet money that he will get a large judgement against him, and he will attempt to evade ever making good on it. At some point, he'll simply have to be arrested and charged criminally. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if that happened, too.

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  22. I may have to start calling again, it's only been 18 months since I payed and only received Lies and fake tracking info. Has any one actually paid this clown an inperson visit. How has he survived, I mean out of all of us, there has to one person he screwed mombed out?

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  23. Anon 1:55, at this point you just need to contact the Arizona Attorney General's office to let them know that you paid Chet Durda 18 months ago and still have nothing to show for it. Durda has been telling the AG that he has made good on all pending orders, which - based on your comment and several others I've read - is obviously not true. For some reason Durda seems to think the AG is stupid, and he thinks that if he tells enough lies to the AG, all his troubles will go away.

    I mean, this is a guy who told the Attorney General that he never conducted business as "Lancaster Arms LLC", when to this day even his website still says "Lancaster Arms LLC" at the bottom of several pages. This just proves that this guy will tell blatant lies even when it's 100% obvious to everyone else that he's lying. Under no circumstances can Chet Durda be trusted to tell the truth. About anything.

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  24. I would encourage people on this site to ask for refunds and not parts. You are more likely to encounter a Big Foot than get your original parts back.

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  25. You might be right Anon 8:09, but that's still messed-up. Some of the parts that were sent to Lancaster are not easily replaceable. Someone might have sent a parts-kit they paid $250 for, that would now cost $750 to replace...even IF they could find a replacement. If that was me, I'd be asking for the FULL, CURRENT market value of the kit.

    And just what happened to these kits anyway? How do you "lose" a rifle kit??? Much less several kits? Did they grow legs and walk away or something???

    I'll bet any amount of money that Durda "borrowed" parts from kits that customers sent him, and used those parts to build rifles for other people. And if you're thinking, "Wait, no one would be THAT shady, would they?", I would say that you haven't met Chet Durda.

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    1. yeah, its messed up but I was referring to people who paid for complete guns. I wouldn't trust a gun lancaster put together, especially now. I didn't know people sent part kits to lancaster.

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  26. Anybody know a good gunsmith that I can send my milled Lancaster ak-74 to get fixed? Afraid I won't get it back if i send it back to them.

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  27. Wow lots of hatred. I ordered 30 milled AK's three weeks ago and received my full order yesterday. You folks must be on his hate list. I'm ordering more tomorrow as they are selling fast.

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  28. Hey Anon 7:40, you sound like you might be uninformed.

    In case you didn't notice, Chet Durda has ripped off dozens and dozens of people, either by accepting money for rifles that were never delivered, or by accepting parts kits for builds that were either never returned, or were returned with substitute parts. And Durda did this enough times that the Attorney General could no longer ignore the avalanche of complaints it was receiving. Tell me…how many other small businesses do you know about that have 60+ complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau? And have you researched how many times Chet Durda has been sued? I’ll give you a hint: the number is in the double digits. Can you say “Lack of character and integrity?” I knew you could!

    It doesn't help that through the entire fraud debacle, Chet Durda lied continuously about what was going on. More than a few people were told “Your rifle is shipping tomorrow”, only to never see a rifle. Even one of Chet’s own employees once told me that Chet is literally incapable of telling the truth. Not that I needed to be reminded.

    Knowing this, how exactly would you expect people to react Anon 7:40? Do you think the Attorney General just gets out of bed every morning, and randomly picks people to sue for fraud? Are you just uninformed, or do you simply not think that fraud is particularly serious? You seem to think that because you got three rifles from Lancaster, that dozens and dozens of other people didn't get ripped off by Lancaster and Chet Durda. Very strange.

    What you’re reading here, is the inevitable result of unethical business dealings on the part of Chet Durda and Lancaster. One has to wonder why you’d be surprised at the reactions you see here.

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  29. It's probably because Anon 7:40 is Chet Durda trolling again.

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  30. I know Chet has had some trouble with getting parts do to a snafu with the BATFE people. I ordered a milled receiver blonde furniture AK47 on 03/16/2012 and received my rifle on 04/12/2012 there was a bit of a delay due to waiting on the hard case. Rifle is awesome! It came with a slant break, but Chet sent me a AK74 style TAPCO break free of charge. He also installed a buffer free of charge and there was a bit of a delay there. I paid with cashiers check in advance.

    I'm really sorry to read of all your troubles. I had read the blogs before ordering the rifle and it was a concern. Based on my experience though I would recommend Lancaster Arms to friends or family or anyone else that wants a great looking well made AK.

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  31. Some interesting comments, “GSchwaratz”. A few comments in response:

    1. Chet always has an excuse, doesn't he? And those excuses never, and I mean NEVER, have anything to do with him, do they? “A snafu with the BATFE?” Yeah, OK. Whatever. Sounds like more of Chet Durda’s well-known bullshit. Oh well…at least everyone in his office has recovered from their three year long “flu”.

    2. A properly built AK does not need a buffer. Which begs the question, why did he install a buffer in yours? And why would that cause a delay? It takes no time at all to install a buffer. Something about this sounds…“off”.

    3. You paid in advance with a cashier’s check, on March 16, 2012? Wait a minute…Lancaster’s website says, and has said for some time, that Chet won’t request payment until your rifle is done and ready to ship. So why on Earth would you send a cashier’s check in advance? Come to think of it, why would you send a cashier’s check at all??? It’s pretty funny that Chet still falsely bills Lancaster as “One of the largest manufacturers of original AK rifles in the United States”, yet he doesn't accept credit cards. Why would such a “large” company not take credit cards in 2012? I mean, if the excuse was fees, then Lancaster could do what many other companies do and simply add the 3% fee onto the price. But nah, the issue isn't fees. The issue is that Chet knows that people who use credit cards, are also people who have recourse when he rips them off. So, he only accepts cash or cash equivalents. When a company is being sued for fraud and that company won't accept credit cards, that should set off all kinds of alarm bells in any thinking person.

    Regardless, it’s strange that you prepaid, when Lancaster claims on its website that it doesn't ask for payment until the rifle is done. Here too, something doesn't seem to add up "GSchwaratz".

    4. Unlike you, I would most certainly NOT recommend Lancaster to family and friends. Even if Lancaster produced the best AK in the world (they don’t, btw), and forgetting for a moment that Chet Durda has ripped off dozens of people (although that IS hard to forget), there’s a very good reason not to send any money to Lancaster right now. And that reason is the fraud lawsuit currently pending against Chet Durda and Lancaster Arms.

    Court records reveal that on April 10, the Arizona AG had to file a “Motion to Compel Compliance with Discovery Rules”. It would appear that Chet Durda is not taking this lawsuit seriously, and that the AG is now asking a judge to ORDER Chet Durda to start complying with the court’s rules. What Durda is doing here, is tantamount to swatting at a hornet’s nest. His behavior in this regard is reckless and stupid. But, it’s Chet Durda after all…it’s not like such behavior from him is new or unexpected.

    So “GSchwaratz”, it would appear you have more trust in Chet Durda than the facts might suggest you should. You paid him cash up front, even knowing that he is being sued for fraud, and now knowing that that lawsuit is not going well for him. You’d have to really hate your friends and family if – knowing all this – you would still suggest that they send money to Lancaster. Personally, I think the AG is going to impose large fines and penalties on Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda. And I sure as hell wouldn’t want my money to be in his hands when that happens.

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  32. hello again its Luke again I need the AG 's office persons name and email or number I Need to contact. Like I said in the blogs above Chet lost my pieces of my kits and attempted to send garbage to replace lost pieces. I am fed up. Please help Me Out. O Yeah Its a HOOT TO READ CHET KISS HIS OWN ASS.

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  33. Luke, the attorney handling this matter is Cherie Howe. Just call the AG's office at 602.542.5025, or toll-free at 1.800.352.8431, and ask to speak with Ms. Howe.

    If Lancaster did not return your kit back to you EXACTLY as it was sent to Lancaster, then that is important information for the AG to know.

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  34. Hey guys, Chet Durda is still sitting on unrepaired and unreturned rifles.

    There was a post on thehighroad.org just a few days ago, where a guy says that he sent an AK back to Lancaster for repair in September, 2011. As of May 1, 2012, he still has not received his rifle back.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=657246

    One can only wonder how many other people are in the same boat. If Chet has not returned a rifle that was sent to him for repair in September, it stands to reason there are probably several more people who are wondering where in the hell their rifle is.

    I wonder how come the Arizona AG has not sought a Temporary Restraining Order, preventing Lancaster and Durda from conducting business until Durda can PROVE that all rifles, money and kits sent to Lancaster by customers have either been repaired or returned. I also wonder how come the BATF has not revoked Lancaster's FFL yet. You'd think that after being charged with fraud, that might be enough to get a FFL revoked.

    I swear, this guy is just going to keep ripping people off until the AG and/or BATF fully realize the seriousness of the situation, and put him out of business.

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  35. Another sad Lancaster customerMay 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Hello again Spoke with AG today. They informed me there is about 80 counts fraud against Lancaster. IF people want to Get Items Or money back Please Contact AG Office asap. Please feel free to contact the people at the AG's office they are very pleasent people to deal with, please dont be afraid.

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  36. call this number
    it is chets cell phone he gave to me.
    told me if i had any questions about my gun to call him im sure hed extend the offer to his other valued customers.
    for best response i called at 7am my time in michigan which is around 4 am his time that was the only time i could seem to recall what i wanted to ask him.
    I got my refund check with this method. i suggest you all do the same.
    Cheers boys kick some ass

    1-623-505-8990

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  37. Hi all! My story was posted on this blog on December 6, 2010, which I originally posted on Calguns.net. I had seen evidence of what Lancaster was capable of producing and was hoping against hope I wouldn't be one of the people Chet cheated. (My good friend has a milled Lancaster 74 and a kit Lancaster assembled for him. It took six months, but they are two of the few well-made guns Chet's put out. Looking at it now, my buddy is a high-ranking military official, and Chet was probably afraid to cheat him, and even so, Chet postponed promised delivery 3 months.) As I'm sure many of you can understand, sometimes our desire for a particular gun can override logic and reason. For me, that gun was a good quality, milled receiver AK-74, and at the time, Lancaster was the only option. I ignored every red flag (like Chet wanting overnight shipped payment), this blog, and other horror stories: I really wanted that gun. After multiple failed delivery dates, I finally demanded a refund, which too, never materialized. So, with this site and others, I started networking every person I could find to report Lancaster to the AZ Attorney General's office, Goodyear Police, BBB, the U.S. Postmaster (where applicable), and, finally, BATFE. It was around this time (January 2011) that the AZ Attorney General started to take a serious look at Lancaster. Four days into the New Year, I got a Cashier's Check refund. Although I got my money back, I never stopped trying to help people defrauded by Lancaster; I posted my email address on this site for that purpose.

    We, in the gun community have proven time and time again that we (most of us, anyway) are really a genuinely good group of people, and that more often than not, we look out for each other. This site is a PERFECT example of such. The admin's spent untold hours on this site, and many of us, myself included, have spent hours on telephone calls, emails, and more regarding Lancaster. My point is this: all of our work is so that other fellow gun buyers won't have to go down the path we did, that you won't lose your hard-earned money, and you won’t waste your precious time dealing with shysters and frauds!

    Please, if you're one of those people like me who REALLY wants a particular AK and Lancaster seems to be your only option, turn to the auction sites. This way, you're at least guaranteed delivery and have LEGITIMATE recourse if not.

    Furthermore, what's ironic is that I compared my buddy's milled Lancaster '74 to my stamped Arsenal AK-74, and the Arsenal is more accurate than the Lancaster with all ammunition tried (and we tried several.) I'm not deliberately plugging Arsenal; I just wish I'd just bought one from the start. If not Arsenal, then another of the competent AK builders out there who, unlike Lancaster, stand behind their work and actually deliver guns.
    If you've been cheated by Lancaster, this site has plenty of good instructions on how to get your money or product back. However, the best way to not be defrauded is to never do business with Chet in the first place! Lancaster Arms: Just Say No!

    Be Well,
    DE

    P.S. Does anyone else find it fitting that Chet moved to a place called "Surprise"???

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  38. As far as the "positive" stories about Chet posted here, they all have a ring of the fantastical to them, particularly "Anonymous April 18, 2012, 7:40AM". Given all the BBB complaints, the AG suit, and sites like this, Governmental and Contractor sales contracts will evaporate faster than water in Death Valley. Governmental Agencies and NGO Contractors want stability and dependability, both attributes of which Chet has none. Secondly, I find it odd that Chet cannot complete single-instance gun orders for SO many people and STILL hasn't completed an order of parts kits from a group buy from CALGUNS.net dating back over 2 years, but all of a sudden, and shortly after a move, he produces 30 MILLED guns! If he'd said stamped, I'd rule it highly unlikely but still plausible, as NoDak or some other receiver could have been used, and the other parts are relatively easy to source. However, Anon 7:40 said MILLED guns! So, let me get this straight: Chet fails to fill so many orders for milled guns that they're too numerous to list, lacks the funds to issue refunds to these people, is in the middle of, or just completed a move, lacks funding for a large labor force, and now produces not one, but THIRTY milled receiver, complete guns. To top off that story, the poster says he/she is ordering more as they're going fast, which indicates that Chet's actually produced more than 30 because he would have to have more in stock to "go fast." If that is the case, then tell me why, since Chet now has all these milled-receiver guns, does he not fulfill all those outstanding orders that pre-date Anon 7:40’s order by 2-3 years?!

    If it walks like a duck...

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  39. He doesn't have money or resources to fill orders, he has been moving from shop to shop to skip out on paying rent. I just got some news that he has been locked out of his current place for not paying and is trying to get enough money to get back in. His top gunsmith had to file bankruptcy for not getting paid, so who knows who he can afford to build his guns. He takes warranties/ returns and fills other orders with them, and also takes them to gun shows for quick cash. Then tells the original owner that they had to replace the gun and it takes forever for the warranty/return to get it back. And as for refunds your never gonna get your money he is just scraping by. He takes new orders and gives you a deadline but never meets it and then gives you excuses that arnt true, he took that money to fill another order.

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  40. Nothing you wrote should surprise anyone, Kyle. There has long been speculation that Durda could be running a shell game/ponzi scheme with regard to orders. Especially after he claimed that there was an "unauthorized deletion of company records by an ex-employee."

    As far as having money, Durda just became even more broke on May 31, when he lost a $72,000 lawsuit against him. He lost it on a summary judgement too, which is when the court basically says, "There isn't even an argument to be made here. He owes the money."

    I wonder how much longer Durda can keep up the charade that he's still running a viable business?

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  41. I.just bought 20 guns and they are all mint condition. Some new guy and business sold to new guy with FFL. Won't be honoring any past orders but new orders are proceeding. Wonder what new management will do to this website. Good luck with your complaints and know you got screwed and there's nothing you can do about it.

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  42. It'll be interesting to hear how that all pans out, and to learn to what extent, if any, Durda is associated with this "new" business. I'm immediately suspicious of any business dealings in which he is involved. And I don't know why anyone would want to buy this business, with its tarnished-beyond-repair reputation.

    It's possible people might get screwed as you said. But remember, the fraud lawsuit is still ongoing. At this point it would be premature to suggest that the people who lost money, won't get some of it back.

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  43. Did you guys know that Lancaster Arms LLC hasn't been in business since January? Go look at their corporate filings. The LLC was dissolved back in January. This means that Chet Durda is now fraudulently representing his business, since several pages of his website still say "Lancaster Arms LLC".

    He is also trying to call himself "Lancaster Consulting", although there is no business registration in Arizona for a "Lancaster Consulting". It's possible Durda is calling Lancaster Consulting a sole proprietorship, but that makes no sense whatsoever. No attorney in America would ever recommend that a business - especially a business that ostensibly makes things - should be set-up as a sole proprietorship. Given this, it might be safe to conclude that "Lancaster Consulting" is literally nothing but a name for a non-existent business.

    And what's the deal with their website saying the "Call Center" will be closed June 1-15? Last time I was in their building it was a mess, and there were all of two guys working there. They don't have a "call center", unless you want to stretch credibility by calling a single phone sitting on a desk a "call center".

    Too funny.

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  44. LOL! There's an obvious troll message above from a "GSchwaratz". That's funny, because in early 2011 Lancaster CLAIMED that they hired an "Operations Group" to handle customer service issues. The person who replied from this "Operations Group" signed his emails with "GS".

    What a coincidence!

    And I'll bet any amount of money that "GSchwaratz" (aka "GS") is none other than that scumbag himself, Chet Durda. That dumbass is waaaayyyyy too cheap to actually hire a dedicated customer service person. Hell, he's too cheap to even hire a lawyer after he gets sued for fraud!

    Chet, have you ever considered selling used cars? You'd be rich "GS"!

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  45. Any new word out there??? I havent heard anything as of late. Luke

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  46. In August I heard the AZAG was compiling a list of who is still owed what. If you haven't already been in contact with the AZAG you may be out of luck.

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  47. Luke, there probably hasn't been an update because there isn’t much to report at this point.

    With regard to the lawsuit, Chet Durda initially filed a response to the complaint in January, disputing or attempting to excuse some of the charges. This response was poorly written and formulated, and ultimately not at all convincing. Which is precisely why Lancaster’s request that the suit be dropped was not granted by the court.

    So, the Arizona AG pressed ahead with discovery, and on February 13th filed a First Request for Production of Documents (which is essentially just a request for records with which the AG can fully make its case.) Lancaster apparently decided it would not cooperate fully with the AG’s request for records and other information. Because of this, the AG filed a “Motion to Compel Compliance with Discovery Rules”. This is basically the State’s request that the Defendants be ORDERED by the court to cooperate. Lancaster did not respond to that motion, so on June 15th the motion was granted. As a result, the court ordered that by July 1, 2012, Lancaster provide an Initial Disclosure Statement, and that they produce the documents and electronically stored information requested by the State on February 13.

    Last I heard, Lancaster was still stalling and was not producing all of the requested records. Which shouldn't surprise anyone. Chet is handling this the way he handles all of his other problems: He hopes that if he just ignores everything, the problem will go away. I also sort of suspect he isn’t producing records because he either doesn’t have those records, or he knows that the records he has will only further validate the AG’s claims. I don’t know this for a fact…it’s just an educated guess based on what I know of Lancaster.

    Triangles is correct. The AG has a long list of people to whom Lancaster owes money and/or a rifle. Some of these people are owed rifles/money/kits from a LONGGGG time ago. I don’t think it’s too late to get on that list, however. Anyone who is owed anything by Lancaster really needs to contact the AG to let them know. After all, they can’t submit a claim on your behalf if they don’t know about it. Unbelievably, I am STILL seeing forum posts from people complaining that Lancaster owes them a rifle from months and even years ago.

    What I think will ultimately happen is that this will go to trial and a judgment (possibly a default judgment) will be entered against Lancaster and Chet Durda ordering restitution, payment of legal fees, and civil fines for each instance where Lancaster cannot prove that a person was made whole. I would fully expect it to be a six-figure judgment. After that, the AG will start the collections process. And being a government entity, when it comes to collections they have a lot more tools at their disposal than a mere “civilian”. They can even order liquidation of the business and can seize personal assets to satisfy the judgment. I’ve seen similar cases in the past, and trust me…when the government says you owe them money, they WILL get it from you one way or another.

    Barring any new circumstances, I would expect this to wrap up by the end of the year.

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  48. did any one file with the azag over there items lost with chet, for the last time, i was emailed by them a few weeks ago and then made my list and sent it out there the next day, maybe somethings going to be happening soon

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  49. I was contacted by the AZAG in Aug. They were seeking a list of exactly what I was owed. Don't quote me on this but I believe the case is nearing it's end and they want an accurate list of who is owed what.

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  50. Per public records on the Maricopa County Superior Court website, it looks like the AG entered into a "stipulated judgement" with Lancaster a couple weeks ago. The document itself is not online. Just a notice that it happened.

    Usually, that means that the AG reached some kind of agreement with Lancaster whereby Lancaster and Durda agree to make good on all outstanding matters before the court by some specified period of time. If Lancaster doesn't make good on those matters, they are basically held in contempt and then hammered with penalties.

    If this is what happened, then the AG got rolled.

    I say that because we've all seen this movie before. Durda promises the sun and the moon, and then when he inevitably doesn't do what he said he would do, he has a million different excuses. None of which are ever his own fault, of course. In fact, this is why the AG sued him in the first place. It was because he said he'd make good on outstanding complaints, and he never did. Thus, it seems the AG is saying, "We know you lied to us once, but we now believe you when you say you won't lie to us again." Amazing.

    My guess is that he'll return some kits that don't resemble the kits that were actually sent to him (i.e., the people who sent those kits will get hosed), and he'll send some rifles out that aren't what was sent to him for repair. He will report to the court that he made good on everything, even though he won't have actually made people whole.

    Of course, those who didn't file a claim with the AG at all will be hosed for certain, because the AG can't attempt to have Lancaster make good on a claim if the AG doesn't know about that claims. For anyone who got ripped off but didn't report it, too bad for you I guess.

    As for what this means for Lancaster, who knows. I do know that I still wouldn't trust Chet Durda as far as I could throw him. I think you'd have to be a damn fool to attempt to do any business with him. But I also know that some people never learn. I'll bet Durda knows that, too.

    And BTW, those same court records reveal that Durda recently had a different $72,000 judgement issued against him. The Plaintiffs in that case are trying to garnish that money, although I don't know how much success they're having. I have no idea how he's funding Lancaster Arms when he owes so much money.

    Regardless, I doubt we've heard the last word on this. And for everyone who filed a claim with the AG, if you don't get back from Lancaster EXACTLY what you sent to them, you absolutely need to let the AG know. Again, the AG can't follow-up on matters that they don't know about.

    If anyone knows anything else, let us know.

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  51. I received a letter from the AZ AG's office yesterday informing me of a judgement against Lancaster/Durda. He has been ordered to pay $67,000 in restitution to "customers" he screwed. But get this - he is to make monthly payments to the state over a period of "several years". When enough is collected to make payment practical, the state will start issuing checks on an annual basis beginning in about a year. I had a VERY well documented file on this slime ball, but the letter says I am slated to eventually receive about $28 less than he owes me. I don't know why the difference, but I doubt I will see one dime so it is likely irrelevant. I cannot imaging Durda will do anything but thumb his nose at the AG and never make one single payment. He's a Vietnam era vet (or CIA spook if you believe his lies), so he's not a young guy and I expect he will play dodge 'em until he goes to his ultimate reward.....which I hope is due south.

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  52. I get $56.00 less then what I am owed. I believe this is a fine type payment he has to pay. If you don't pay your fine you get locked up. So well see how it go's. Keep checking back here right.

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  53. My name is Michael Bailey. I live about five miles from the Goodyear factory. Let me preface by saying that I believe everything written here, after reading all the way through and checking on other sites.

    In September of 2009 I purchased a 3060 stamped, in red, at a gun show based strictly on the quality of the gun I was holding, which was a premium gun. Upon taking it home and disassembling it, I noticed a small ding on the gas piston. Realizing that I only lived a few miles from the factory, I drove over there and walked in the front door. The lady listened to what I had to say and got the owner immediately.

    After breaking the rifle down right there on the front desk and showing him my issue, he said it could be fixed right away. I asked him for a tour of the shop while the rifle was being worked on. I watched the repair while I was standing there with my arms crossed. As an aerospace and racing machinist, I gave them a lot of shit about the cleanliness of their operation. Razzed them about the age of their CNC. Just shop guy joshing around stuff. Chet gave me a cleaning kit, one of those little metal oil bottles, and a nice red commie pistol grip when I mentioned I didn't like the black plastic grip. Then I left. I was satisfied.

    After reading this blog from one end to the other, including every comment, I now have a different idea of why I got such good service than I did have. At the time I just thought he was doing the right thing to keep a customer happy. But looking back, they never asked for any paper. They never asked where I bought it, or when. They just did the work and I left.

    But now I am thinking about the fact that when I walked in the door, I had a magazine in the well to keep dust out(it's farm country), and I was wearing a 1911 on my belt in plain sight. Now I realize those people were afraid I was walking into there to shoot somebody.

    I am a native Arizonan, and DO NOT want sick fucks like this to be seen as representative of either my state or my community. Please understand that this is far from normal behavior in Arizona, especially in a business located in the countryside. I know Tom Horne, the AG, and I know ranking Republicans in this state, also.

    I am going to give him a call personally, and also call some of his party bosses, as well as a talk radio guy I know that has the ear of this AG. I want to know where this is at now, seeing as how the latest post seems to be from October.
    -Michael Bailey

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  54. I would also like to say that I am known in the tea party/oathkeeper circles around here, and I will do my utmost to make sure this guy Chet Durda gets his name spread around far and wide in Arizona. I come from a ranching family in the Verde Valley and can get some notoriety for him in other parts of the state besides just the Phoenix and Tucson areas. I may not be able to help anyone here get money or rifle, but I can ruin this guy's ability to ever operate a machine shop in this state.
    -mike

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  55. Michael, thanks for stopping by.

    Sorry I haven't updated this blog in awhile. I will make a new post soon, giving details on where things are at. But here's the short story:

    Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda settled the case with the Arizona AG a few months ago. If you Google the matter, you'll find news and details about the settlement. Durda was ordered to pay $67,000 in restitution and $3,000 in court costs. He has a couple years to make good on this, although I'll bet good money that he won't live up to his word. A person's past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, and, well...we all know about his past behavior.

    Durda also lost another $72,000 in a separate lawsuit in July of 2012, and right now there is yet another lawsuit pending against him in the District of Utah Federal Court. Chet Durda is being sued by a former business partner for "breach of contract, conversion and fraud". The amount involved is $200,000. Something tells me that Durda is gonna lose that case, too.

    As far as I know, Lancaster Arms is still "officially" in business in Surprise, Arizona. However, with Durda owing $142,000 in legal judgments, and with another large judgment against him possible, I have no idea where he's getting the money to run his business. And something tells me I probably don't want to know.

    Regardless, and as I've always said, you'd have to be a fool to send him any money right now. Aside from the fact that he's proven himself to be untrustworthy and dishonest, his known financial commitments to settle legal matters would make me very nervous about sending him money. Who's to say he won't start right back up with his "take your money, make excuses and then never deliver" business plan?

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  56. CHET GOT AWAY WITH IT!!!!
    Talked to AZ. ATTY. Off. The business was sold see http://www.lancasterarms.com/index.htm
    Chet has defaulted on payments to their office and has "retired". His retirement is exempt!!!!

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  57. That's not entirely accurate, Anon.

    Yes, Durda sold his business and has "retired". And it's true that he never paid a single dime to the State of Arizona.

    But his judgement is not "exempt" because he retired. That isn't the way our legal system works. If it was, then everyone who ever had a judgement against them would "retire". Durda's judgement was a personal judgement, so the debt is still quite valid and legally owed, and the Arizona AG has referred the matter to a collection agency.

    With any luck, that collection agency will aggressively seek to recoup as much money as they can. In addition, the fact that the debt was sent to a collection agency will stay on his credit record for a long time, although I imagine Durda's credit score is probably already trashed anyway.

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  58. I never got a single penny back! So yes, he got away! Some people need a 'ol fashion ass whoopin'

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You are welcome, and in fact encouraged, to leave your comments about experiences with Lancaster Arms. The only requirement is that you stick to facts, or well-documented opinions.

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About Me

But quite willing to "help" Lancaster Arms fully understand why the way they run their business, is completely unacceptable.

Welcome to LancasterArmsSucks.blogspot.com

This site exist to help police a firearms manufacturer that has decided to run its business using questionable ethics. Too often, there is not enough complete, accurate information on the Internet about companies engaged in the manufature of firearms. It is my hope that this blog shall serve as a useful tool to help guide potential customers of Lancaster Arms to a fully-informed decision. As of the start date of this blog, many, many people feel as though Lancaster Arms does not run an honest business. We'll let the chips fall where they may...