'Real Housewife of Atlanta' sets record straight after customer alleges fraud
ATLANTA (CBS46) -
One of the Real Housewives of Atlanta is setting the record straight after a customer alleged fraud. The complaint? Her company is accepting money for services but the company isn't keeping up its end of the bargain.
Cynthia Bailey has graced the covers of magazines. Each week, you can find the supermodel on Bravo's Real Housewives of Atlanta. Her company, the Bailey Agency School of Fashion, has been featured on the show and it helps hook aspiring models.
"Cynthia Bailey is on the Atlanta Housewives and my daughter talks about her and my granddaughter talks about her," Dorothy Lewis said.
Lewis' granddaughter is 7-year-old Paris Davis.
"She's bubbly, loves playing and she loves singing, dancing and likes modeling, very talkative," Lewis said.
Anytime Paris takes a picture, "she does her own poses," Lewis said.
So after seeing Bailey on Real Housewives of Atlanta, Lewis looked up her agency and found a photo contest for babies and kids.
"The only thing I had to do was submit her photo and then I had to submit an entry fee on the website," Lewis explained.
Lewis paid $20 to enter Paris into the "big kid" category for the month of January.
"To me it's like playing the lottery. Your chances are slim but what if? That would be exciting if you win," Lewis said.
The problem? The Bailey Agency hasn't updated the winners since October 2013, but the site has continued to collect money.
"It's just not right to be advertising that you're going to do one thing and take people's money from around the country and you're not following through on what you're saying," Lewis said.
On top of that, until CBS46 started asking questions, the website stated "a portion of the proceeds ... will be donated to the Atlanta Diaper Relief." The nonprofit folded six months ago.
"It's like false advertisement," Lewis said.
CBS46 took the concerns to Bailey.
"We didn't even realize it folded until we reached out to her to let her know we were going to be changing it over," Bailey said.
The agency now gives a portion to Kile's World, the foundation started by Tameka Foster Raymond in honor of her late son.
And the contest? The agency collected 79 entries and $1,580 while the winners weren't being updated.
But the contest is supposed to pay out $450 a month in prizes, in this case, losing money.
"Do you have anything to say to those moms or those grandmothers who were concerned their money wasn't being used for what it was intended?" reporter Jennifer Mayerle asked.
"First of all I think that's a very negative approach to the whole situation, that's not like their $20 wasn't being used for what it was intended for. It's just a matter of us being in transition on our side and we were just behind on the website. But now it's updated," Bailey said.
Since our initial inquiry, the agency changed the charity listed on the website and updated the contest winners.
Bailey said she will be more diligent about the contest in the future and will issue a refund to anyone who is unhappy about the way it was handled.
Bailey also gave CBS46 the following statement:
"The program is not revenue driven. The Bailey Babies Contest was created in the spirit of giving moms with young babies a platform to give their children exposure. This was a fun & inexpensive way to involve young babies in the school since they are obviously too young to participate in any of the other school programs that are offered. The program was also developed for the purpose of extending our brand out to people outside of the Atlanta area that support and want to be a part of The Bailey Agency. I apologize for any negligence on my part as far as my staff not keeping the website properly updated. I hope after receiving all the correct and updated information from me personally, you can appreciate the sincerity of my intentions. I appreciate you for bringing this important matter to my attention. I can assure The Bailey Babies mommies that this will not be an issue going forward. Thank you for providing the opportunity to address this matter."
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