WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – A Wichita pawnbroker is forced to pay fines and must refrain from conducting business after being accused of violating the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.

A $23,197 default judgment was entered against Ethan Ma, who was doing business as 1st Gold at 2408 South Hillside. The Sedgwick County DA's Consumer Protection Division received a complaint alleging Ma acted as an unlicensed pawnbroker and failing to return a customer’s property offered as surety on a loan.

As part of the ruling, Judge Stephen Ternes ordered Ma to pay $2,000 in restitution to the consumer, plus $20,000 in civil penalties, as well as court costs and investigation fees.

Ma must refrain from engaging in consumer transactions in Kansas until he is properly licensed and all restitution, costs and fees are paid.

The City of Wichita requires all pawnbrokers to be licensed, and every loan must be evidenced by a written contract, a copy of which must be provided to the borrower. The city also requires all pawnbrokers to post their license in a conspicuous place at or near the entrance to the licensed pawnshop.