FULTON, Mo. (KMIZ)
The owner of a Fulton business is being accused of stealing after customers claim they made payments but never received their items.
The Callaway County Sheriff's Office tells ABC 17 they are conducting an ongoing investigation into Michael Mullett and Meadowlark Outfitters LLC.
Callaway County Prosecutors have already charged Mullett with one count of felony attempting to steal $750 or more.
According to a probable cause statement, six victims have come forward after paying for items they never received since December 2018. Many ordered guns online through Meadowlark Outfitters or GunBroker.com. The purchases ranged from $450 to $856.
Once the purchasers attempted to make contact with Mullett and Meadowlark Outfitters, the statement claims Mullett would stop communicating with the buyers and they never received a refund or the products.
One victim is a Missouri business that banned Mullett from their business after many reported incidents of Mullett creating new accounts to bid on items for his store while his card was declined.
Mullett was arrested by the Callaway County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday and released on Wednesday.
The probable cause statement goes on to say that during an interview with an investigator Tuesday, Mullett initially stated he was prompt about settling orders, but later said his records are a mess which resulted in things falling through the cracks.
According to the Missouri Attorney General's office, the business is still active. Communications Director Madeline Sieren said the office has received one complaint against the business, which is currently in mediation.
According to the Better Business Bureau's website, Meadowlark Outfitters LLC is not BBB accredited and has a B minus rating. It shows two customer complaints in the last three years.
BBB spokesperson Sarah Wetzel said online shopping scams are one of the top scams in the country.
"Unfortunately, it is something that we do see a lot, and it's just a great reminder for consumers to do your research," Wetzel said. "Take that step back, even if you see a great deal ... we have to trust our gut. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Before making a purchase from an online site, Wetzel said to look up customer reviews, search the name of the business plus the word 'scam' in a search engine and look the company up on the BBB's website to see its rating.
She also said people should pay with a credit card so the charge can be disputed, if necessary.
If someone does fall victim to a scam, she said to attempt to the contact the seller first. If that doesn't work, people should file a claim with the BBB.
ABC 17 attempted to contact Mullett by calling and emailing the contact information listed for his store, but did not hear back. ABC 17 also called his attorney, Jeffrey Hilbrenner, but was told he could not comment.
Anyone with information about failed transactions with Meadlow Outfitters LLC is asked to contact the Callaway County Sheriff's Office at 573-642-7291 and the Attorney General's hotline at 1-800-392-8222.
Other court documents claim Mullett breached a contract with Zanders Sporting Goods by not paying for items that were delivered to him from the company. Zanders Sporting Goods is now asking for Meadowlark Outfitters to pay the total sum of $5,066 plus interest and court costs.