Judge tunes out Cary music store accused of defrauding customers

Posted January 20, 2015

— A Superior Court judge has barred a Cary music store from conducting business in North Carolina after the Attorney General's Office said the store didn't deliver on orders or payments.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said Fat Sound Guitar and Musical Co. Inc. collected upfront payments from consumers and in at least 11 instances never placed orders with manufacturers or delivered any equipment. The store also failed to pass payments to owners of equipment that it sold on consignment, Cooper said, noting one instance of a man who didn't get the $1,559 he was owed after his guitar was sold.

Eighteen people have filed complaints with the Consumer Protection Division of Cooper's office against Fat Sound, which went out of business in late 2012, according to various online forums.

Judge Donald Stephens ordered the store and owner Stuart Vries Carter Jr. to refund $38,631 to affected consumers, return all consumer property and cancel any remaining contracts. Cooper said his office is working to collect as much of the judgment as possible.

“When you spend your hard-earned money, you deserve to get what you paid for,” Cooper said in a statement. “Taking money and then giving consumers the run around isn’t the way to do business in North Carolina.”


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  • joefurloughski Jan 21, 2015

    Yea, they sold my air guitar and I did not get my money.

  • Mark Anderson Jan 21, 2015
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    Thanks for that tip! Nice to know there is a Martin authorized luthier in Cary in case I ever need some work done on my Martin.

  • lucasd06 Jan 21, 2015

    Always got a weird feeling going in that store. Although the salesmen and owners are gone, Mark Kane was the luthier that worked at the shop. He did great work and continues to do business in Cary under the business name Fret King. He is authorized in both Martin and Taylor guitar repairs. Great guy!

  • rocket Jan 21, 2015

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    Government protecting rights is a good thing. It's all the stuff they do to restrict freedom that some people don't like.

  • Thomas Fenske Jan 21, 2015
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    It sounds like there is a restitution plan in place ... hopefully it has a time limit and if that condition is not met THEN there will be criminal charges.

  • John Booker Jan 21, 2015
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    Agreed... some kid robs a gas station for $500 and it seems as though that kid is looking at a harsher punishment.

  • Obama-in-2016 Jan 21, 2015

    This is why I make my music with Guitar Hero.

  • Steve Sanders Jan 21, 2015
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    Why was he not prosecuted criminally? Sounds like a on going criminal enterprise to me??

  • Mary Zulch Jan 20, 2015
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    NO, These people will probably never get the money owed to them. BUT, people will remember the business and the owner as a fraud. It should be enough to put Stuart Vries Carter in the forefront of people's minds to avoid. I hope, anyway.

  • archmaker Jan 20, 2015

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    The AG just made sure no one else loses their money from them.