If you were scammed by the Red Carpet Pageant and Prom LLC in Wayne, the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs has changed the locks, impounded all merchandise and records and is prepared to return prom dresses to consumers who can provide proper documentation.

Trish Dowling (L) Miss New Jersey 2010 Ashley Udalovas, and Miss NJ's Outstanding Teen 2011 Natalie Ragazzo

State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa said Superior Court Judge Margaret Mary McVeigh ordered a temporary freeze of the defendants’ assets, and authorized the Division and a temporary receiver to impound the store’s merchandise.

“A prom is a significant event in a teenager’s life, and one for which many consumers deposit significant amounts of money for the perfect dress,” Attorney General Chiesa said.  “We will not tolerate businesses that make false promises to consumers, then fail to provide the goods or services consumers have paid for.”

The Division of Consumer Affairs filed suit on June 5 against Red Carpet and its manager, Patricia A. Dowling, of Deptford, and her husband, Michael J. Dowling, after the store closed its doors and ceased business operations in the midst of prom season – allegedly leaving many young women without their prom dresses or a refund, after they paid in full or in part for the dresses.

The defendants allegedly took payment for special-order dresses that were to be provided at a later date, and then failed to provide the garments; and failed to provide refunds to consumers who did not receive their garments.    At least 16 consumers allegedly paid the defendants in full or in part for dresses that have not been provided, for a total amount of $5,400.  As late as the first week of May, the defendants allegedly contacted consumers and told them their dresses were ready for pickup, but when consumers arrived at the Red Carpet shortly thereafter, they found the store closed and no one there.

Consumers who are seeking garments or a refund from Red Carpet should contact the Division immediately at 973-504-6321.

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