IUKA — Pickwick Pines Resort and its owner have agreed to pay $260,000 to settle a consumer protection lawsuit that the state attorney general filed in federal bankruptcy court.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that the resort’s owner, David McMeans, will pay $10,000 to the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Fund. He also will pay $250,000 to reimburse the state for attorneys’ fees and expenses.
Attorney General Jim Hood filed a civil complaint against McMeans and several Pickwick Pines business entities for unfair and deceptive business practices that included misrepresentation of fees charged to resort property owners and people leasing properties.
The Pickwick Pines Association of Homeowners has been in a legal battle with McMeans in federal court over several issues, including escalating annual fees.
Agreements the residents signed with Pickwick Pines said the mandatory annual fee of $600 when the resort opened in 2003 would be locked in as long as the purchaser owned the property. However, the annual fee escalated to $1,800 and has remained at that level since 2007.
In the years since original complaints were filed by the attorney general and homeowners, McMeans and his Pickwick Pines properties have gone into bankruptcy, and all claims against him have languished there.
In December 2013, Pickwick Pines Association of Homeowners won a temporary injunction that barred McMeans from collecting their annual fees until the attorney general’s case was settled.