DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller's Consumer Protection Division filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a Fort Dodge-based cosmetology school for allegedly engaging in deceptive, omissive and unfair practices.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Polk County District Court, alleged that the La' James International College's extraordinary instructor turnover resulted in classrooms without teachers and inconsistent instruction. The school also allegedly gave students limited access to practice their skills and treated students more like free labor than students.
La' James also allegedly made it difficult for students to make up missed hours and imposed extra charges on students for not finishing their education by a set date.
Miller's lawsuit alleges La' James violated the Consumer Fraud Act and seeks a court order that would bar the defendants from misleading students and concealing material information. The suit also seeks reimbursement for students, as well as the payment of penalties and costs.
Also named as defendants in the lawsuit were La' James College of Hairstyling, Travis Ltd., M & C Beauty School Inc., Tiffany Ltd., R & R Construction Company, Lyndi Ltd. and Cynthia Becher. Becher is the president of La' James and has a 75 percent interest in the corporation.
La' James operates cosmetology and massage schools and salons in Iowa City, Fort Dodge, Johnston, Davenport, Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls, as well as one location each in Nebraska and Illinois.