January 5, 2007
Poplar Bluff, Mo. — A Web site design firm in Poplar Bluff that accepted payment for services from small businesses and then failed to deliver on a variety of promises will cease operating as a business and pay $2,500 in restitution and penalties under a consent judgment and permanent injunction obtained by Attorney General Jay Nixon. The judgment was signed by Butler County Circuit Judge William Cope and also orders Christina Stevens, owner and operator of Just Two Girls and The Tech Girls, to perform internet services that she had accepted payment for from four consumers but hadn't completed.
Nixon filed his lawsuit against the defendant on Oct. 6, saying she defrauded a number of small business owners who do most of their business online. Stevens claimed that her business provided Web site design and development, Web hosting, and installation of special Web site features such as shopping carts and security protections, Internet domain name registration and graphic design. 15 victims filed complaints with the Attorney General's Office, saying they paid between $500 and $800 for the services that Stevens never delivered on while being verbally harassed by the defendant when they complained.
“Small business owners don't have the time or the money to get into a hassle with someone who takes payment to design their Web site and then delivers a shoddy product or no product at all,” Nixon said. “The defendant did just that, so we are seeing to it that she herself is not in business anymore.”
According to the judgment, the defendant is prohibited from serving as owner or operator for any business that is engaged in advertising or selling of internet services, including Web site design. Stevens must also complete Web design services to four consumers from whom she took payment but failed to completed the work, including loading a new Web site for one customer; providing copies of Web sites designed for customers in a format that allows them to have the site hosted by another party; relinquishing the domain name of her customer's Web sites and providing full, uninterrupted access to those sites to the consumers who own them.
In addition, the defendant is ordered to pay $2,323 in restitution and $177 to the state to cover the costs of the attorney's fees and investigation of the case.