Bryan Cohen Oct. 23, 2012, 6:50pm

VALPARAISO, Ind. (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced a lawsuit on Tuesday against Sisters Bridal Inc. for closing its doors after collecting upfront payments from customers.

Sisters Bridal Inc. and owners Terry Berntsen and Madeline Reynolds allegedly required eight customers to collectively pay $6,647 upfront for tuxedos and wedding gowns. The defendants then allegedly failed to deliver the promised merchandise or refunds. The eight consumers filed complaints with Zoeller's office after the business closed down.

The store was located at 902 Calumet Ave. in Valparaiso.

"Our office is committed to holding businesses accountable when contracts with customers are not honored, because it is typically the consumers who lose out," Zoeller said. "This lawsuit is an example of that commitment. While restitution will not likely make up for these wedding parties' inconveniences of lost time and money, our office will work hard to make sure they receive some relief."

Berntsen allegedly used Sisters Bridal Inc. to mislead and deceive Indiana consumers. The defendants allegedly violated the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act by collecting money from January to July, promising wedding gowns or tuxedos, and closing down its doors in August without delivering the garments.

The lawsuit seeks a cancellation of contracts with consumers, consumer restitution, civil penalties, attorney fees and an injunction against the defendants.

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