A Dodge City man was ordered recently to pay a civil penalty for violating consumer protection laws and is barred from misrepresenting himself as a certified public accountant while his CPA license remains revoked, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Raymond F. Dechant, and his firm, Dechant, Unruh, Thomas, Inc., were ordered by Ford County District Judge E. Leigh Hood to refrain from misrepresenting Dechant as a practicing certified public accountant and holding him out as a certified public accountant unless his certificate and permit to practice as a CPA is reinstated.
A lawsuit filed by Schmidt alleged that Dechant had solicited certified public accountant services with Kansas consumers, including accounting and audit services, during a years-long period while his CPA certificate had been suspended and then revoked.
The misrepresentation constituted a violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.
Dechant’s CPA certificate was suspended by the Kansas Board of Accountancy in 2012 for failure to submit a permit renewal application and his renewal fee.
His certificate was then revoked by the board in 2016 and has not been reinstated since then.
In addition to the injunction against misrepresenting Dechant’s status as a CPA, Hood ordered the defendants to pay a $15,000 civil penalty and to reimburse the attorney general’s office for the cost of the investigation.
The defendants also were ordered to repay any Kansas consumers who may become known to the attorney general’s office who received work performed by Dechant as a CPA between July 1, 2012, and May 1, 2018.
Any consumers who think they may qualify for reimbursement should contact the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-432-2310 or online at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.