A.G. Schneiderman Reaches Settlement With Former Hopewell Junction Day Spa Owner
Kathleen Pascazi, Ambiance Zen Day Spa Owner, To Refund Unused Gift Certificates Sold Prior To Spa’s Closing To More Than 160 Customers
Schneiderman: Law Makes Business Owners Responsible For Value Of Unused Gift Cards Even If They Close
POUGHKEEPSIE – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office has settled an investigation into the sale of hundreds of gift certificates by Kathleen Pascazi, the former owner of a Hopewell Junction day spa, Ambiance Zen Day Spa, that were not refunded when the business closed. The settlement requires Pascazi to refund 162 consumers more than $13,000 for the unused gift certificates. New York Abandoned Property Law requires businesses to pay the New York State Comptroller the monies collected from unused gift certificate sales.
“Gift certificates can be an important strategy for businesses to promote their services, but the law also requires business owners to ensure they are able to live up to the promise of services sold in advance,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “When they fail to do so, I will protect those consumers left holding worthless certificates.”
As part of the settlement agreement, Pascazi will pay the Attorney General’s Office $13,343.25 in restitution over a six-year period. That amount, plus 5% interest, will go to customers. She must also pay a civil penalty totaling $6,000 for violating New York law. The spa, which offered massage therapy, facials, waxing, manicures and pedicures, was located at 415 Route 376 in Hopewell Junction.
Consumers who believe they are entitled to restitution can call the Attorney General’s Poughkeepsie Office to confirm they are already covered by this settlement, or to file a complaint in order to qualify for restitution. The Poughkeepsie Regional Office telephone number is (845) 485-3900, or consumers can call the Attorney General’s toll free number, 1-800-771-7755.
The investigation and settlement were handled by Assistant Attorney General Nick Garin and Senior Consumer Frauds Representative Stephanie Brideau. Vincent Bradley is the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office. Marty Mack is the Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Regional Offices.