Spa 151 gift certificates, cards to be refunded, attorney general says

Tuesday, June 3, 2008
(File photo) Spa 151 On the River, 151 S. Spanish St., in a photo taken in February 2007. The Spa closed in January.

Customers left holding gift certificates and gift cards from Spa 151 on the River will get their money back, the Missouri Attorney General's Office announced Tuesday.

After almost four months of working on complaints filed against Spa 151, which closed in late January, Attorney General Jay Nixon, in a news release issued Tuesday, announced that the former owners will pay up to $103,000 to redeem the cards and certificates.

The voluntary agreement with former owners Scott and Ashli Rowland and former operator Brent Wills of Jackson requires the Rowlands to pay $15,000 each and Wills to pay $30,000 into a restitution fund that will be managed by Nixon's office.

Should claims for restitution exceed $60,000, the Rowlands and Wills will be liable to cover up to $43,000 in additional claims.

Spa 151 operated at 151 S. Spanish St. for a little more than two years. The spa went out of business in late January as Scott and Ashli Rowland worked through a bitter divorce. More than 300 consumers have filed complaints with Nixon's office alleging that they held gift cards or gift certificates that could not be redeemed.

Many of the complaints focused on gift cards sold in the periods immediately before Christmas and Valentine's Day.

Of the initial $60,000, $7,392 will be used to reimburse credit card companies that have already charged back the gift certificate purchases.

The Rowlands will also pay $1,000 each and Wills will pay $2,000 to the state to cover the costs of the investigation.

Consumers who have already filed complaints with Nixon's office and those who file complaints within the next 90 days are eligible for the refunds. To file a complaint, call the consumer affairs hotline at (800) 392-8222 or go to the attorney general's website at www.ago.mo.gov.

For updates, check back at semissourian.com or read Wednesday's Southeast Missourian.

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