Hook columnist sparks AG lawsuit
Attorney General Bob McDonnell has filed suit against Nicholas J. Gianakos, proprietor of Instant Cash Title Loans in Charlottesville, for violating Virginia's Consumer Finance Act. According to a release, the company's alleged wrongdoing was first brought to the attention of the AG by Alan Zimmerman, the Hook's consumer reporter. Zimmerman investigated the case of Estelle Williams, who borrowed $230 in 2005 and despite paying $1,000, which worked out to interest of 240 percent, still had her car repossessed. Based on this info, the Office of the Attorney General launched an investigation, which led to today's announcement of legal action. "It's pretty cool to see government respond," says Zimmerman.