Police Charge Owner Of Red Carpet Prom
Police have charged the owner of a Wayne prom gown shop who has drawn consumer complaints with filing a false burglary report.
Sixteen customers have claimed in the past two weeks that Red Carpet Prom dress shop in Wayne took their money and failed to deliver gowns.
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The disorderly person's offense carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The store's owner, Patricia Dowling, filed a burglary report last week, claiming $600 and 40 dresses were stolen. Police Capt. James Clarke tells The Record newspaper the store's security cameras captured Dowling taking the dresses off the rack.
The newspaper reported Dowling's previous store, Red Carpet Bridal in Gloucester County, has had more than $70,000 in judgments and liens against it for failure to pay suppliers, including dress manufacturers, a sign company and the Internal Revenue Service.
Skorenko said many dress suppliers will no longer sell to Dowling. That was the case for Illinois-based Party Time Formals, which had problems with "very slow pay" and bouncing checks, said customer and sales representative Neyva Herrera.
"We stopped business with them completely," she said. "We're not allowed to sell to them."
Benny Faghian, manager of Terani Couture in New York City, said he did business with Red Carpet Prom and got paid. "They are a good customer with us," Faghian said.
The Record reports that several businesses have offered discounts and replacement dresses with proof of payment from Red Carpet Prom.
Castle Couture in Marlboro, which has offered to deduct the amount that the customer paid to Red Carpet Prom in the purchase of a new dress. PromGirl.com, which has a warehouse in North Bergen, has offered to sell dresses to teens at cost, or the manufacturer's price.
Coco's Chateau, a dress shop in Wayne, has also offered to sell dresses to affected customers at cost. Owner Dorothy Kastan said she has heard "horror stories" from customers and vendors about Red Carpet Prom and feels bad for them.
Another person offering to help is Skorenko, who has opened a new gown shop in Red Bank. She has offered to deduct the amount a customer laid out and lost at Red Carpet Prom, and a 20 percent discount for any additional cost.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.