Best Buy lawyer admits to destroying evidence

Minneapolis (MN) - What was once a case about scamming consumers has now turned into obstruction of justice, after Best Buy’s lawyer concealed and falsified records in a recently revived lawsuit.

James Odom bought a computer from Best Buy in the year 2000 and declined on the retailer’s offer to sign him up for MSN’s Internet service. Odom later found out Best Buy signed him up anyway and passed on his credit card information to Microsoft, causing him to be billed for the service.

Odom filed a lawsuit against Best Buy, causing a light to be shed on a deal that had allegedly been going on with Best Buy and Microsoft for years. According to the plaintiff’s claims, Microsoft would pay Best Buy for each customer who signed up, and encouraged the retailer to use deceptive practices. The case was dismissed in 2003, but last month a federal court overturned the earlier ruling and has brought the case back to the docket.

Instead of a routine consumer vs. corporation proceeding, Best Buy has now found itself in the middle of a much deeper legal controversy, after one of the company’s lawyers admitted to falsifying records and destroying evidence, reports the Associated Press.

Lawyer Timothy Block says he acted alone in covering up the evidence, but if Best Buy was involved, it could mean big trouble for the Minneapolis-based retailer. The electronics chain is currently seeking new counsel.

Best Buy is also currently under legal scrutiny from the Attorney General of Connecticut, who filed a lawsuit against Best Buy for a bait and switch practice with its in-store website. AG Richard Blumenthal says the store intentionally uses a different version of its online store in its in-store computers to gyp consumers out of price match offers.