12 September 2023- Attorney General Michelle Henry announced a settlement to resolve a lawsuit with online personality Dana Chanel and Philadelphia-based companies co-owned and promoted by the influencer.
Dana Chanel promoted a credit repair business (Defendant Credit Exterminators, Inc.) and mobile app developer (Alakazam Apps) to her online following of nearly 800,000 consumers. The lawsuit alleged that Chanel and the businesses, which the influencer co-owned, violated state consumer protection laws by misleading consumers and failing to deliver purchased goods and services.
The settlement provides dozens of impacted consumers with more than $87,000 in restitution payments, along with civil penalties and costs.
According to the settlement, Dana Chanel and the businesses are also banned from promoting or selling credit repair and mobile app services.
“Advertising in today’s world has changed, and people trust personalities they follow online to promote desirable goods,” Attorney General Henry said. “In these cases, consumers were misled by the influencer and businesses that did not deliver on purchases. My office has taken a hard stance against potential harm inflicted on Pennsylvanians online.”
Dana Chanel, whose real name is Casey Olivera, promotes a wide range of goods and services to her audience on Instagram and other online platforms. The Office of Attorney General filed a lawsuit after hearing from several of Dana Chanel’s social media followers claiming they were bilked by Credit Exterminators/Earn Company and/or Alakazam Apps. The complaining consumers alleged that the companies misled them about the characteristics and the value of the goods and services they bought. In some instances, consumers claimed they never received the purchased goods and services.
The lawsuit was resolved by a Consent Petition (settlement) that requires court approval between the Commonwealth and the defendants. The Consent Petition also prohibits the defendants from future deceptive conduct in all of their businesses, including:
- failing to deliver goods and services;
- misrepresenting the quality or value of services; and
- contracting with consumers under different terms than those advertised.
Under the settlement, the defendants will pay $87,269.91 in consumer restitution, $31,000 in legal costs, and $6,000 in civil penalties, with an additional $55,000 in civil penalties suspended as long as the Defendants remain in compliance with the terms of the Consent Petition.
The Consent Petition was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and is pending approval of the Court.