News / Halifax

Halifax business owner left 'high and dry' after alleged theft and fraud by former employees

The co-owner of Lash Envy in Halifax says her former employees stole cash, products and customers, and started their own business.

A Halifax woman says former employees have “destroyed” her business and left her “high and dry” after stealing thousands of dollars in cash and products and using it to start their own business.

Valerie Fougere and her husband co-own Lash Envy at 819 Bedford Highway.

Fougere, 36, left to have a baby in September and said she hired one of her employees to act as manager in her absence.

“We had a text message from one of the girls in early December saying they were leaving tomorrow. They had privately messaged all our clients from the Lash Envy Facebook account saying we were moving and we were just changing the name and location,” Fougere told Metro, adding that some former clients have sent her screenshots of the messages.

Fougere said her former employees started a new business with a similar name.

“All of the clients were under the impression it was the same ownership. We were in shock obviously so we decided to pursue legal action," she said.

“The business is completely done. Destroyed ... We’ve been left high and dry."

She said they have high definition video footage of her former employees stealing thousands of dollars worth of product, in addition to pocketing cash.

“You can see them very clearly on the high definition cameras. As soon as a client would pay with cash, they would go in and put ‘no show’ or cancel the appointment right out,” she said.

Halifax Regional Police could not confirm the names of either business involved in the matter, but said three women have been charged with theft under $5,000 and fraudulent concealment relating to payment for services.

“We received a report of theft on Dec. 11, 2017 from a business located in the 800 block of Bedford Highway,” said Halifax Regional Police Cst. Carol McIsaac.

“Through the course of the investigation it was determined that former employees removed property and money from the business. It’s believed the incidents took place between Nov. 22 (and) Dec. 9, 2017.”

The women, who are 22, 25 and 30 years old, are scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court Feb. 14 to face the charges.

Police said the matter remains under investigation.

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