Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Attorney general files lawsuit over Branson social event

(From Attorney General Chris Koster)

 Attorney General Chris Koster today announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against Donna J. Walker, formerly of Hollister, over misrepresentations she made about an entertainment event she claimed she was organizing in Branson.
Koster's suit alleges that beginning in April 2012, Walker began advertising the "Red Hat Extravaganza," to be held in October 2012 in Branson.  The event was billed as a gathering of a social organization called the "Red Hat Society." In exchange for a payment of $499, Walker offered to arrange a lodging and entertainment package. The suit alleges that Walker told consumers that tickets to several Branson shows were included, including a George Jones concert.
In September 2012, Walker cancelled the extravaganza and told customers who had purchased packages that they would receive refunds once Walker received the deposits she had made for show tickets.  However, investigators from the Attorney General's Office discovered evidence suggesting Walker never paid any deposits for tickets to the shows billed as part of the package. Walker, who has subsequently begun residing in Louisiana, has not fully repaid the forty consumers who paid for the event.
"We will pursue businesses that take advantage of Missourians and fail to provide promised services," said Koster. "My office will continue to seek restitution for consumers who have not received full refunds."
Koster's suit argues that Walker misrepresented to consumers that she had already purchased tickets to several Branson shows and made false promises to consumers that they would receive their money back, in violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. The lawsuit seeks full refunds of consumers' payments, and that Walker pay a civil penalty to the state and be permanently barred from selling or offering travel and entertainment services in Missouri.
Any consumer who paid for the Red Hat Extravaganza or for any other cancelled travel or entertainment services through Walker should contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-392-8222 or file a complaint online.

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