RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The man accused of scamming dozens of families by selling them untrained service dogs was supposed to be in bankruptcy court on Wednesday.
Mark Mathis wasn’t found in court, but WAVY sister station WNCN did find others who say they’re still picking up the pieces after getting involved with Ry-Con.
Melissa Quartarone suffers from PTSD, epilepsy, and other autoimmune diseases. She spent $14,000 on a service dog, hoping it could give her a shot at a normal life.
“I’ve been really struggling, healthwise, and Mark has not helped it,” Quartarone said.
Quartarone is one of dozens of people who said they spent thousands on a service dog that was untrained from the now shut down Apex nonprofit.
WNCN spent the afternoon with the dog. It barked and lunged at every person and dog that passed by.
“Like, I’m almost 27 years old,” Quartarone said. “I don’t want a service dog because I want a fluffy animal to run around with me all the time. I want a job. I want to go and live like every other 27-year-old.”
The attorney general is investigating Ry-Con and its owner, Mark Mathis, after receiving 50 complaints.
“He should feel a horrible degree of shame,” Quartarone said. “Whether he goes to court and gets charged by the attorney general or not, I hope he feels shame.”
Mathis filed for bankruptcy, thus freezing the multiple small claims suits against him. He was expected in court on Wednesday, but his case was continued.
“I don’t want to be dealing with Mark Mathis and wondering if he’s gonna show up to bankruptcy court,” Quartarone said.
Diedre Cribb traveled from Charlotte in hopes of getting the $13,000 she spent on a service dog for her child with autism that she claims she never even received. She said she didn’t expect to get her money back.
Quartarone is now spending thousands to retrain her dog, Frodo.
“That’s definitely in the works, and at that point, that’s still wondering if he makes it through that. And if he doesn’t, you’ve invested more money into a dog that didn’t make it through, and I don’t know if I want to go through that again,” Quartarone said.
Matthis’ attorney wouldn’t comment, but did say the case was continued until April 24.