KIRO 7 spoke by phone with Ben Levi, who identified himself as a representative for Mer D'Or Paris. Levi said their products are purchased by vendors who then sell them and that the company planned to no longer give the particular vendors police said sold Sherri the Bellevue spa package at the Washington State Fair any more products “because of misrepresentation.”
Levi said the vendors’ account with the company would be closed and that the vendors agreed to refund Sherri’s money.
Levi told KIRO 7 there are no spa services offered in Bellevue connected to his company and that maybe there was a misunderstanding between the vendors and the woman at the fair.
Police say registered Washington State Fair vendors scammed a woman by selling her a $2,000 spa package at their booth back in September to a spa in Bellevue that doesn’t exist. Detectives say the vendors are now persons of interest in a felony theft investigation and fear there may be more victims.
"I had gotten the diamond treatment,” said Sherri Parkin, who said she purchased the spa package from a booth inside the fair’s Expo Hall. “24 treatments.”
Parkin said she called a number given to her at the booth the next day to set up a spa appointment.
"It was out of order, there was nobody there,” said Parkin. “Really depressed, really sad."
Puyallup police said they haven’t been able to get in touch with the men who sold Parkin the spa package that also included beauty products. Parkin showed KIRO 7 some of the items she took home and said she discovered some products missing from their box.
Police said the booth was registered at the three-week fair under the name "La Savon/Mer D'Or Paris,” a company they said may exist in other states, but not Washington.
"We haven't been able to establish that it's actually a legitimate business at all at this point,” said Puyallup Police Department Captain Ryan Portmann. “The information we’ve got, yeah, has just been bogus all the way around.”
KIRO 7 called the phone numbers provided by Sherri. A man answered one line but hung up the phone once our reporter identified himself. Another number went to a personal voicemail.
Sherri said her guard was down because the vendors were at a designated fair booth. She said she tried to get her bank to stop the charge but it had already cleared.
"Never thought of them as thieves, as liars and thieves,” said Parkin. “I feel, yeah, really broken."
KIRO 7 reached out to the Washington State Fair and asked whether the fair would review its vendor screening process.
Spokesperson, Stacy Van Horne, released a statement to KIRO 7 that said: “We are cooperating with Puyallup police as they investigate and have provided all information we have. Regarding the vendor vetting process, all vendors are required to fill out extensive applications providing information about their company and products. In the future, we are considering checking references on applicants.”
Call or email the Puyallup PD tip line at (253) 770-3343 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you were scammed or can identify the vendors.
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