AG: Pair behind 'glamping' resort never built in N. Mich. must refund customers

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A couple accused of advertising a "glamping" site in northern Michigan they never built must reimburse customers as part of their sentencing, the state Attorney General's Office said Wednesday.

Bradley Carlson, 61, and Sandra Carlson, 58, were charged in December with five counts of larceny by conversion between $1,000 and $20,000 related to their company, Bella Solviva Inc.

The Carlsons must pay more than $29,000 in restitution to the customers.

The company was charged with one count each of larceny by conversion between $1,000 and $20,000, and larceny by conversion between $200 and $1,000. 

Starting in 2015, the couple advertised Bella Solviva as a “glamping,” or upscale camping, resort being built in the Antrim County area.

A Facebook page listed for the site described it as "Michigan's first and only true Eco-responsible, green, glamping destination, created for the outdoor adventure enthusiast with an appetite for indulgence."

The website and confirmation emails indicated customers could receive a refund if a reserved site was not built in time for a reservation, state officials said in a statement.

"Despite accepting deposits from 2015 to 2017, never building the resort, and repeated requests for refunds, more than 30 customers were never refunded," according to the release.

The Carlsons were sentenced Wednesday in Antrim County to two years of probation. They also cannot engage in any venture capital activities.   

Last month, the couple pleaded no contest to three counts of larceny by conversion between $200 and $1,000. 

As part of the plea agreement, they were also ordered to pay $29,216.51 in restitution by Oct. 18. It was already paid to their attorney’s trust account and is slated to go to victims listed in the complaint as soon as the court can process the payment, investigators said.

A pretrial conference is scheduled Nov. 8 for their company in Antrim County Circuit Court.

“Consumers must be able to trust their hard-earned money will be used as intended,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “My office remains committed to holding accountable those who don’t deliver on their obligations to their customers.”