Social media influencer Dana Chanel has been accused of ripping off black small business owners

Pennsylvania authorities have filed a lawsuit against Instagram influencer Dana Chanel alleging she used her social media platform to promote products and services that ripped off consumers, mostly black small business owners.

Chanel, whose real name is Casey Olivera, has nearly 800,000 Instagram followers and is the founder of Curl Bible, a hair and skin care brand, and Sprinkle of Jesus, a Christian mobile app that she claims is the biggest online Service to the world is a world with 5 million users.

Chanel is known for sharing fun reels about running businesses, posts promoting their products, and content about their family.

“Dana Chanel has built a following online by presenting herself as the success story of a small business owned by black women,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a press release Thursday. “She was promoting her company’s products to give other black small business owners the opportunity to accomplish what she’s done. Then she ripped off the same community that supposedly interested her. “

The lawsuit that Chanel is suing includes Chanel’s other companies, Credit Exterminators (which have been renamed the Earn Company), the company that helps consumers improve bad credit, and Alakazam, which focuses on helping small business owners create their own mobile App to help.

According to the lawsuit, both companies are jointly owned and operated by Chanel and some of their family members. Her sister Cassandra April Olivera and her father Nakia Rattray are also listed as defendants.

According to the lawsuit, Pennsylvania officials began their investigations after receiving multiple complaints from customers saying they either didn’t get the goods and services they paid for or the companies misled them, Buzzfeed reported.

Several people reported to officials that Credit Exterminators / Earn Company offered a $ 300 per month “VIP Package” service plan to help people improve their creditworthiness and allegedly an appealing “We’re doing it.” for you ”-Gimmick promised.

Customers were then asked to sign a form that would allow the company to actually provide the services it was promoting, e.g.

A client paid a $ 1,807 down payment to the credit rating company in hopes of fixing her credit and receiving related advice and coaching, the lawsuit said. However, when she tried to reach out to the company to set up these services, she received no response and her request for a full refund was denied.

Apparently, the credit rating company falsely claimed that it filed disputes with credit bureaus, but people found that these agencies had no record of the disputes.

Regulators also accused Chanel’s mobile app company Alakazam of billing customers for a “business marketing manual” that they were unaware of, or that they did not want to buy or ever want to receive.

This company was advertised to small business owners who wanted to promote their products with their own apps while building a community at the same time.

Chanel also used its Instagram to promote online seminars hosted by Rattray or other company officials, the lawsuit said.

“Some consumers who paid monthly hosting fees to Alakazam never received a finished mobile app from the company, or received a mobile app that lacked a minimum level of functionality necessary to add value to the product to the consumer lend “, it says in the lawsuit.

One small business owner felt that Alakazam would do the development work to create an app for her. She gave up over $ 950 on app development, but instead the money went to a business marketing manual, the lawsuit says, and a monthly hosting fee of $ 250 to be paid prior to the completion of the app was due.

The attorney general accuses Chanel of violating the Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Act on five counts, including failing to deliver promised goods and services, misleading consumers, violating the state’s credit services law, and failing to register a fictitious company name with the state.

“It’s hard enough for workers in Philadelphia these days,” Shapiro said in a statement. “We cannot allow bad actors to break the law and make it even harder for people to go out of bad credit or keep their small businesses afloat.”

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