Teri Hardy told people, who worked for multi-level marketing companies, that she was planning vendor shows in five different states, including South Dakota and Iowa.
She took their money, but never delivered on the events and kept all the cash.
Now Hardy and her husband Don Hatland have declared bankruptcy. And Monday the bankruptcy court in Sioux City, Iowa held a meeting for creditors.
Several people showed up hoping to get answers along with a refund.
You may remember Hardy. She has a criminal history of stealing money and started a company called Street Repeats, which took thousands of dollars from vendors for a holiday market in Sioux Falls. The vendors were willing to pay in advance because she’d held a show in July in Sioux Falls. But the Convention Center told KELOLAND News she never finished paying for that show and never paid for one she booked for November, so it was cancelled.
Hardy did the same thing in Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. Monday some of those vendors who lost money were able to meet with Teri Hardy and her husband Don Hatland face-to-face to ask questions about what happened to their money.
This group of women gathered outside the Federal Courthouse in Sioux City, many driving hours to get here. Roslyn Hamilton made the six hour trip from Missouri in hopes of getting her $650 back. Hamilton who sells “Your Inspiration at Home” products had booked five events with Street Repeats.
“We took a leap of faith and thought she was an honest person, but obviously she never intended to have any of these events. She was just going to pocket as much money as she could,” Hamilton said.
In their bankruptcy filing, Hardy and Hatland listed 361 creditors, saying they owed more than $203,000.
While only eight of those creditors showed up here, they all had a point to make. Carrie Thompson who sells Lula Roe clothing says she was left off the list of creditors because she got a refund check. The problem is, it bounced.
“And let them know that I think not all the people were not documented, that they owed money to,” Thompson said.
“I want to get my money back and I want everybody else to. Not just for me only, but for everybody who was hurt by this,” Hamilton said.
Angela Kennecke asked the bankruptcy trustee if there was anything he could do to get these women their money back. He said the couple does have some assets that he can seize to get some creditors paid back, but he said there’s no way all the vendors would get their money back.
The couple did answer some questions in court, saying they had held four shows, but had cancelled eight others. They said they were using vendors’ money they got for upcoming shows to pay off what they owed for previous events.
AK: “Did you get any answers today?”
“No, not that I wanted, no. I wanted to know why she did this kind of stuff,” Hamilton said.
Hardy and Hatland were not answering any more questions outside the courthouse.
“Do you intend to pay any of these women back? Will you pay them back? Will you pay any vendors back? Why did you take their money and not pay them back?” Angela asked.
“Teri, I want my money. I’ve got a five-month old to support. I want my money back,” Stoltman said.
Robin Stoltman of Watertown, who sells Discovery Toys, tried to push for some answers.
“That ain’t right. That’s a nice vehicle, I should be driving something like that, but I can’t because I’m on Social Security. Where’s my $175 back?” Stoltman said.
AK: Teri, will you give the vendors their money back?
Teri slammed the car door without responding.
AK “Did you get any answers today?” “No, other than I’m SOL. She’s doing wrong and she’s getting away with it. There is no true justice,” Stoltman said.
The bankruptcy court trustee told the women they could file a complaint alleging fraud and if it’s proven the debt their owed would not be discharged by the bankruptcy court.
But it costs $350 to file such a complaint and since most of the vendors are out anywhere from $80 to $700, they say it’s not worth it.
A decision on whether or not the couple’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy is approved is scheduled for April 7th.