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Attorney General files lawsuit against makeup artist after Call 6 report

Posted: 10:19 AM, Mar 03, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-03 10:19:58-05
Karen Hall.jpg

HAMILTON COUNTY — The Indiana Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit against a Fishers-based makeup artist following a Call 6 investigation that raised questions about her business practices.

The state filed the lawsuit against Karen Hall and Karen Hall and Company LLC alleging she represented herself as a licensed cosmetologist, when Hall has not been licensed as a cosmetologist in Indiana for at least 20 years.

Hall’s storefront was located at 9943 Allisonville Road in Fishers.

The lawsuit accuses Hall of violating the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act and engaging in consumer transactions without a license.

As Call 6 Investigates reported in February 2019, contractors who worked for Hall said the makeup artist owed them money and brides said they paid Hall but she didn’t show up on their wedding day to do the work.

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The Attorney General is seeking $5,532 in restitution for six consumers, including two brides featured in our Call 6 investigation into Hall’s business practices.

The state is also asking a Hamilton County judge to stop Karen Hall from owning, operating or managing any Indiana company in the business of cosmetology or esthetics services.

Hall filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court on February 25, and lists the Attorney General, brides and former contractors as creditors.

It’s unclear how the bankruptcy filing will impact the Attorney General’s lawsuit, which was filed on December 16.

Katharine Khamutov hired Karen Hall for her wedding at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, after the makeup artist appeared on the venue’s approved vendor list.

Khamutov said she paid $915 for herself and four bridesmaids.

“I wanted that class, timeless, elegant bride look,” Khamutov said in 2019. “It’s extremely important because it’s going to show in the photographs that you show to your friends and family.”

But come the day of the wedding, Khamutov said Hall did not show up.

“At 10:30 in the morning, we got a text message, ‘I'm running late,’ and an hour later we got a text saying, ‘I was in a car accident,’” Khamutov said. “It was devastating, and it was rude on a business part. It’s a huge part of the look for the wedding day.”

Sarah Corwin, a bride from West Lafayette, had a similar experience with Hall after finding her on a popular wedding website.

Five days before Sept. 2, 2018 wedding, Corwin received an email from Hall saying she dissolved her business.

“Unforeseen actions and circumstances have now become a permanent road block, Karen Hall & Co must close its doors immediately,” read the email. “This is effective as of 8/28/18. Karen Hall & Co LLC has dissolved and no longer will be doing business, providing services or booking future clients.”

Hall did not respond to emailed requests for comment in 2019, so Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney showed up to a court hearing for Hall’s apartment complex evicting her.

Hall dodged our cameras outside the court, and eventually emerged with court bailiffs by her side.

Call 6: There are brides and contractors who say you owe them thousands of dollars. Are you going to pay people back?

Hall: (No response)

Call 6: What do you say to brides that say you canceled on them right before their wedding day. What do you want to say?

Hall: (No response)

As Hall drove away, she made an obscene gesture with her hands to the RTV6 camera.

No attorney is listed for Hall in the Attorney General lawsuit.

Call 6 Investigates left a message for Hall’s bankruptcy attorney.

Here’s how you can protect yourself when paying for services:

  • Read your contract before you sign
  • Review and print out a copy of your contract
  • Don’t pay for all services up front — most vendors will require a deposit but not the full amount
  • Pay with a credit card; it has more protection than cash or check
  • If you paid recently, file a dispute with your credit card company or bank
  • File a complaint with the BBB or Attorney General — even if a company goes out of business, they can still pursue mediation or civil action