A Philadelphia-area woman with a large Instagram following has been ordered to pay dozens of consumers she misled by failing to provide the services she billed for.
Dana Chanel, known for founding the hair and skin care brand Curl Bible and whose real name is Casey Olivera, must pay $$87,269.91 in consumer compensation, $31,000 in legal fees and $6,000 in civil penalties, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office said on Tuesday. This came after she supported a credit repair company and a mobile app developer — of which she was a co-owner — to her followers, many of whom claim the businesses were mischaracterized and that services were never received.
The settlement states that Chanel, Defendant Credit Exterminators, Inc. and Alakazam Apps are prohibited from promoting or selling credit repair and mobile app services. An additional $55,000 in civil penalties was added, but while Chanel is suspended adheres to the agreement. Chanel promoted the companies to her Instagram followers, which now total 1.1 million.
“Advertising in today’s world has changed and people trust the personalities they follow online to promote desirable goods,” said Attorney General Michelle Henry. “In these cases, consumers were misled by the influencer and companies that failed to deliver their purchases. My office has taken a tough stance on the potential harm being done to Pennsylvanians online.”
The settlement ends a nearly two-year legal battle that stemmed from a lawsuit filed by then-Attorney General Josh Shapiro. The suit also includes Chanel’s father, Nakia Rattray and Chanel’s sister, Cassandra Olivera.
A customer paid Alakazam $2,000 to develop an app for a nonprofit organization, but the app was never received. At least 10 calls regarding a refund were not answered legal action. Another customer said Alakazam charged them $250 per month even though the app was never completed.
Credit Exterminators, which has been renamed to Earn Company was marketed as Providing guidance and guidance on how to improve credit scores. Packages cost up to $300 and monthly fees apply. Many customers were denied a refund or never received a response when they reached out that they did not receive the services they paid for.
A customer paid the company $2,000 to settle delinquent credit accounts; However, they received a garnishment Pay letter from a creditor who should have been contacted from Chanel’s company.
“It’s hard enough for Philadelphia workers these days,” Shapiro said when the lawsuit was filed. “We can’t allow bad actors to break the law and make it even harder for people to resolve their bad credit or keep their small businesses afloat.”
Chanel describes herself as a Christian entrepreneur and previously ran companies that offered prayer, tax services, life insurance, etc “Heavy metal detox spray” for children.