RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) Attorney General Josh Stein announced that Mark Mathis was indicted in Wake County Superior Court on 42 counts of obtaining property by false pretense.
Mathis is the president and executive director of Ry-Con, a nonprofit organization that sold service dogs that he represented were specially trained to help people with medical or developmental needs.
Mathis is innocent until proven guilty, officials said.
Attorney General Stein alleges that Mathis represented that he could provide families with trained service dogs that would help people with medical or developmental needs, often children, navigate daily life, when in fact he knew that the dogs were not adequately trained as service dogs.
People paid amounts ranging from $4,500 to $16,710 to Ry-Con for the service dogs to help family members with autism and other medical concerns.
The families who then took these service dogs home have recounted serious issues with the dogs, including fighting with other dogs and biting family members.
Attorney General Stein’s Consumer Protection Division received more than 50 complaints about Ry-Con from families within and outside of North Carolina and subsequently conducted a civil investigation into Mathis and Ry-Con.
Since that time, Attorney General Stein’s Special Prosecutions Section has been referred to the criminal case by Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.
If you or a loved one think you have also been a victim of Mathis or Ry-Con contact the North Carolina Department of Justice at 919-716-6400 and ask to be transferred to the Criminal Division.