Missouri Attorney General obtains judgment and full restitution for victims in “Lantern Fest” lawsuit

Judge gavel and money on brown wooden table. Many hundred dollar bills under judge malice on court desk. Judgement and bribe

Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced the entry of a consent judgment against Happy Fun Events, LLC, Owen Spencer Hunn, and Martha Hunn. The Hunns owned Happy Fun Events, a Utah-based company, that put on “Lantern Fest” events around the country. Happy Fun Events had scheduled an event in Jefferson County for November 2018 that it ultimately never put on. Though thousands of consumers had purchased tickets to the event (at a value of more than $230,000), Happy Fun Events never refunded their money.

“My Office is announcing that we have obtained full restitution for consumers who were defrauded by the organizers of a ‘Lantern Fest’ that never happened. This was a hard-fought case, but in the end, I’m pleased to be able to return money back to consumers who never received refunds,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Our Consumer Protection Section works diligently behind the scenes to advocate for consumers, and this settlement is a result of that hard work.”

The State filed a petition against the Defendants in December 2019 for violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. After more than two years of hard-fought litigation, the Defendants agreed to settle the case for $300,000. This figure includes full restitution for consumers who have not yet received refunds, $20,000 in civil penalties, more than $25,000 for the State’s costs in investigating and pursuing the litigation, and over $23,000 to the Merchandising Practices Revolving Fund, which will help pay for the State to pursue other future actions on behalf of defrauded consumers.

The State will be contacting ticket holders via email in the coming weeks to arrange for refund payments. Ticketholders should be on the lookout for an email from [email protected]

The Attorney General encourages Missourians who believe they may be the victim of any scam or unfair practice to file a complaint by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 800-392-8222, or by submitting a complaint online at ago.mo.gov.

The lawsuit was litigated for the State by Michelle Hinkl, Stephen Hoeplinger, and Zach Pashea. A copy of the Consent Judgment and Settlement Agreement can be found at this link.

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