Cherry Creek mall Christmas store accused of ripping off artists

A Dickens Store sells goods from crafters

DENVER -- At least five local artists say the Dickens store, a seasonal shop, that sells goods from local vendors is a fraud and hasn't paid them money they're owed from last year.

This year, the store is set up inside the Cherry Creek mall. Last year, vendors set up at Southwest Plaza.

"This whole stack here is all of the emails I've sent him requesting payment," said owner and artist Angie Castro, while showing Denver7 reporter Jennifer Kovaleski all the pages.

Castro makes custom soaps for her company UpamperU. She said the owner of A Dickens Store, Tim Newberg, approached her at another local craft show last year.

"Came up to us with a flyer telling us he had a really nice Christmas store called Dickens Store and he would like to have our soaps there," said Castro.

She said she agreed to pay a $350 booth fee, and pay Newberg 30 percent of all sales. At first, she said everything went great.

"Mine was going up and I was thinking, 'hey, if this works out I'm doing this every year -- this is awesome,'" said Castro.

Until the check for more than a thousand dollars never came.

"This is the computer program showing what we're supposed to be paid -- and with the total here," explained Castro while showing the receipts to Denver7. "It's hard for a small business to lose a thousand dollars."

Craftsman Arthur Hough is the owner of Colorado Barrel Designs and said he's owed more than a thousand dollars from Newberg.

"He hasn't returned my phone calls or emails and he bounced a check," said Hough.

Denver7 stopped by the Dickens Store location in Cherry Creek mall.

The owner wasn't available, when reached by phone an employee at the store would only say he had "no comment."

The local artists said they want other crafters to know the truth about the Dickens Store.

"My conscious is eating at me that I want to keep other people from this happening too," said Castro.

"Never do business with Tim Newberg," said Hough.

An hour after Denver7 left the Dickens store the owner sent us the following statement:

I did want to respond to this situation at the Dickens Store. Yes, last year we had a very slow season. For a few reasons that we were not responsible for. We always try and have a great season but it didn't happen. Out of the 100 plus vendors most have been paid and it's taken until this season to start paying back the rest.

My goal is to get everyone caught up by the end of the month. I am a working artist and know how much the holiday season means to all the vendors. All I ask is a few more weeks of patience. The store at Cherry Creek features over 100 local artisans with beautiful handmade gifts and should be very successful.

Tim Newberg

Castro also said she has since received $500 of the $1,000 she is owed. 

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