In Your Corner: Dress Shop Controversy Continues

By Ryan Elijah

April 13, 2012 Updated Apr 13, 2012 at 8:54 AM EDT

It turned out "Dreams of Indy" was more of a nightmare for a number of customers, including a Fort Wayne family that ordered a $400 prom dress and never received it over four years ago.

It turned out the owner, Debra Akinbiyi Smith had abruptly closed stores in Milwaukee leaving countless angry women.

It's hard to forget what happened next when we took a retired police officer with us to question the owner about her business practices.

Akinbiyi Smith told us we had no right to question her about her debts in her store. She said she didn't owe Wisconsin any money for taxes and a new computer system was why the Fort Wayne woman hadn't been taken care of. She vowed to mail her a check for $484 "within a week".

Within a week of what is the question. Four years later, it still hasn't arrived, despite a court order for $1200 in the Fort Wayne woman's favor. About a year after our story aired, Dreams of Indy finally closed, the last complaint we found was from January of 2010.

Only 4 complaints have been filed about Dreams of Indy with Indiana's Attorney Generals office, with the last coming in 2009.

At the time, Attorney General Steve Carter told us his office couldn't act as a personal attorney against Dreams of Indy with only a few complaints filed.

We found no indication that Debra Akinbiyi Smith is still in business, but we did confirm through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue that her company still owes the state over $125,000 in taxes and fees. The story is a frustrating reminder about how some consumers can fall through the cracks, even after winning in court.




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