Local artists still unpaid by owner of A Dickens Store, a seasonal Cherry Creek mall Christmas store

One artist paid, others got partial payments
Posted at 10:11 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 00:42:57-05

DENVER -- Two weeks past the deadline from when the owner of A Dickens Store said all Colorado artists would be paid.

Only one local crafter has received full payment. Others got partial payments, and more say they're still owed money -- including a vendor from this year's store.  

"Really heartbreaking," said Heather Cramer, the owner of ChArmed and Dangerous, who makes jewelry out of old shell casings.

She pulled her products from A Dickens Store's Cherry Creek mall location last month.

The store is run by owner Tim Newberg, who sells Colorado products from local artists seasonally during the holidays.

"I'm not going to leave things there to be sold for money I won't see," said Cramer.

Cramer is the latest to fall victim to Newberg's enticing sales pitch and lured to sell their local products in his seasonal upscale, second floor, Cherry Creek mall Christmas store.

"It's really beautiful, everything is set up very nicely," said Cramer.

"I'd call it a big scam," said Jennifer Tate Foote, owner and artists at Fleur de Bead.

Seven crafters, including Cynthia Lekas, who sells dips and oven mitt towels, all say they were ripped off by Newberg.

"We just couldn't find him and then all of a sudden there he was on the news," said Lekas.

Denver7 also heard from more than a dozen other artists who said they had the same experience with Newberg.

"He took the money and ran, " said Lekas.

As a part of the arrangement, each artist agreed to pay a booth fee and pay Newberg 30 percent of all sales.

Several set up their products in A Dickens Store during previous years -- at other locations like Aspen Grove or Southwest Plaza.

Despite inventory records showing what they sold and were owed by Newberg, some say they never received any money or full payment until Denver7 reached him by phone.

"We'll be able to get them all paid up by the end of this month. That's our goal," said Newberg.

"So you're guaranteeing that everyone going to be paid from 2014 all the way through to this year?" asked Denver7 Reporter Jennifer Kovaleski.

"Yeah, absolutely," responded Newberg.

"Ok, I'm going to hold you to that," said Kovaleski.

Newberg told Denver7 that last month; since then, soap maker Angie Castro said she's been paid in full.

Other artists said they received some money, but Lekas said Newberg owes her more than $2,000 from 2014.

Cramer said she has yet to see a penny from her sales this year.

"Basically what I had in the store that was sold has been given away at this point," she said.

Cramer now questions if the whole thing is some kind of Ponzi scheme.

"It's one of those things where you feel like he's robbing Peter to pay Paul," she said.

When asked for an update on artists being paid, Newberg sent Denver7 the following statement by email:

Most vendors from last year have been paid up.

Some vendors that you had on your report like Jennifer Foote gave false reports. She "forgot" she owed us $1150 and "Doesn't Remember" she picked up a check.

I paid her the balance.

I am working very hard to get the rest paid but because of your negative reports which never said that I have been paying the vendors,

business wasn't as good as normal. So I am making payments over the next 6 months to get everyone caught up.

From advice of counsel I am no longer going to communicate with you.

I will be sending out a payment plan to any of the past vendors that haven't been paid.


Tim Newberg


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