CoiNuts ruling expected soon

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COEUR d'ALENE - The Idaho Attorney General's Office anticipates a ruling any day now on a potentially large judgment against CoiNuts owner-operator Kevin E. Mitchell.

First District Judge Lansing Haynes heard final arguments in Mitchell's case Monday, a case in which Mitchell is being sued by the state for allegedly misleading customers on purchases of valuable metals and coins.

Todd Dvorak, a spokesman for Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, said Monday's hearing lasted approximately 30 minutes.

"The matter is now under (Haynes') advisement," Dvorak said Tuesday. "The judge hopes to rule quickly."

Mitchell, 48, has sought, and received, a series of extensions of time to respond to the lawsuit against him. Mitchell didn't return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

The state's lawsuit alleges violations of consumer protection laws related to Mitchell's operation of CoiNuts, which is no longer open at 296 W. Sunset Ave., near U.S. 95.

Deputy Attorney General Stephanie N. Guyon has argued that Mitchell should be held personally responsible.

"The evidence before the court proves that Mitchell committed deceptive or misleading acts or practices by falsely representing to his customers that he had the ability to procure gold and silver within a specific time frame or within a reasonable time from the customers' dates of purchase," Guyon wrote in court documents filed April 16.

She wrote that Mitchell failed to present any evidence in the form of affidavits or depositions that contradict the facts presented by the state.

The state concluded he violated the Idaho Consumer Protection Act and the Idaho Rules of Consumer Protection.

The state's lawsuit was filed in April 2013 on behalf of 18 customers. Last September, Haynes entered a judgment of $743,000 against the business entity, but not Mitchell himself.

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