BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The owners of a defunct Bismarck spa have been ordered to pay nearly $380,000 for selling gift cards even as they made plans to close the business in 2017.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed a civil lawsuit against Jill Becker and Brent Voorhees, owners of Spa D’Athena, accusing them of selling the worthless gift cards and using the money to pay expenses at a separate business owned by Voorhees and to make Becker’s child support payments.
While the lawsuit was pending in Burleigh County, the two moved to Nevada and filed for bankruptcy. Officials said it’s unlikely customers will be able to recover the money they spent on the gift certificates.
“Unfortunately, because the restitution likely will be discharged in the bankruptcy, it means there is no money for refunds to consumers who purchased worthless Spa D’Athena gift cards,” said Parrell Grossman, director of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division.
Likewise, South Central District Judge Bruce Romanick said the two likely won’t pay attorney fees requested by the state because they’ve filed for bankruptcy, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
Court records do not list attorneys for Becker or Voorhees.