Bryan Cohen Jan. 6, 2014, 3:52pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced a lawsuit on Thursday against a St. Louis-area web designer and his company for allegedly failing to provide services after receiving down payments from clients.

Michael Allton and Stadia Studio LLC allegedly solicited clients for website services and required consumers to provide an initial retainer for 50 percent of the total contract price before work could begin. The company allegedly failed to provide website design, development and hosting services for at least 11 customers. Allton allegedly stopped communicating with clients when they requested refunds.

"This web designer took customers' money and ran," Koster said. "Our priority is to permanently stop this fraud and to get consumers their money back."

Koster's lawsuit alleges that Stadia Studio cheated the 11 consumers out of approximately $12,000.

Koster alleges that Allton is currently operating a similar web design and hosting firm called Social Media Hat, which is not registered as a business with the state, in violation of Missouri law.

The lawsuit seeks full consumer restitution, an order preventing Allton from advertising or engaging in any website design services in the state and the payment of fines for allegedly making misrepresentations and false promises in violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.

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