WINFIELD – A Mason County man says two Putnam County women tried to scam him out of $22,000 over the purchase of the contents of a beauty salon.

Ernest Cook filed the lawsuit June 21 in Putnam Circuit Court against Kimberly Hatfield and Phyllis Boyd.

Cook's complaint says that on Oct. 13, 2004, Boyd entered an agreement with Cook and Hatfield to buy the contents of a Winfield beauty salon. Both defendants, the suit says, worked out of the salon prior to and after the sale.

The purchase price was $22,000, and Cook financed the purchase by withdrawing funds from his 401(k) plan at a cost of $32,000. Cook says there was a verbal agreement between he and Hatfield that the $32,000 was to be paid back to him.

Part of the deal, the complaint says, was that Cook would perform maintenance and upkeep on the salon and Hatfield would provide hair cutting and other services at the salon. For a time, Cook says he also paid utilities for the salon.

Cook, however, says Hatfield breached that contract. He claims she has refused to repay any of his original investment and refused to make any payments.

He also accuses Hatfield of fraud because he says she sold or tried to give her right title and interest to the equipment in the salon back to Boyd.

"Defendants schemed to take the $22,000 from plaintiff without ever intending to pay him back," Cook says in the suit, filed by attorney R. Craig Tatterson. "Defendants are back in the same position they were in before plaintiff unwittingly financed their fraudulent scheme."

Cook seeks to have the court find Hatfield in breach of contract and both defendants guilty of fraud. He also requests an order for a complete accounting of monies into the salon. He also seeks to have the contract upheld, to have the equipment awarded to him, attorney fees, court costs and other relief.

Cook requests a jury trial. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 06-C-213

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