StoneWater Massage & Skin Care owner arrested for fraud - KMSP-TV

Owner of Lino Lakes massage business arrested before China flight

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Photo courtesy of Groupon Photo courtesy of Groupon
LINO LAKES, Minn. (KMSP) -

Stephanie Rae Lasch, owner of StoneWater Massage & Skin Care, was arrested early Thursday morning while attempting to board a one-way flight to China after defrauding customers, according to police.

The Lino Lakes business, formerly located in the 6700 block of Lake Drive, had been the focus of an ongoing criminal investigation after customers reported fraudulent charges on their accounts.

Lasch was taken into custody at 7:15 a.m. while boarding a plane to Beijing at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Investigators say she and her husband planned to flee the country.

According to the Quad Community Press, Lasch was arrested on the plane and had left her dogs with a company that would vaccinate them and transport them to China for $10,000.

So far, 78 victims of the alleged fraud have been identified, but investigators say they have contacted 140 others who identify themselves as victims in civil-related matters with Lasch.

The Lino Lakes Police Department also contacted the Better Business Bureau in both Minnesota and North Dakota regarding civil complaints.

POLICE USE FACEBOOK TO CONTACT VICTIMS

In late January, police publicly announced they were investigating allegations that fraudulent electronic charges had appeared in several customer accounts.

FACEBOOK: Possible Fraud - StoneWater Massage & Skin Care

Anyone who has purchased services from the business within the past year is urged to check credit card and bank statements to ensure no unauthorized charges were made.

Anyone who finds suspicious charges is urged to call 651-982-2300.

Police are also working with state agencies to find a solution for customers who have gift cards for the now-closed business. Those purchases can either be reported by phone or via e-mail.

NEARBY BUSINESS IMPACTED BY FALLOUT

One day after first publishing the story of Lasch's arrest, Fox 9 News learned another area business that once had a similar name is now being affected by the fallout.

Contour Clinic in Vadnais Heights, which was previously known as Stonewater Skin & Laser under different ownership, received negative comments on social media sites after the two businesses, which were located about 10 minutes apart, were apparently confused as the same; however, a spokeswoman for Contour Clinics stressed they are not affiliated in any way. 

Unfortunately, the name is still accessible via Google search, but employees at Contour Clinic wanted to assure current and future clients that although the branding style and name were similar, it is purely coincidental and Lasch is in no way connected to the clinics in Vadnais Heights and Burnsville.

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