COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - There are new developments in our investigation into Bella Vista, the well-known Vista bridal shop that recently closed its doors.
It started last month when several brides-to-be contacted WIS, saying they were worried about getting their dress from the store. They say they had paid the deposit, but received a letter from store management, saying they were filing bankruptcy.
Two days after our investigation aired, we found Larry Judice filed bankruptcy. Elle and Company, LLC, which is owned by Judice and does business as Bella Vista and Lady Antoinette's French Bakery, has also filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
We've also learned Judice has filed an application to sell his property inside the store.
An application and notice filled by the bankruptcy trustee for the company shows the trustee wants to sell almost $374,000 in equipment and inventory to try and settle debts, including more than $60,000 owed to the IRS and the State of South Carolina for unpaid payroll taxes, according to the bankruptcy filing.
On the list of things to go includes more than 200 bridal gowns, 135 bridesmaids dresses, 174 special occasion dresses, veils, and jewelry.
If this application for this sale gets approved, all of these items would be sold for no less than 40 percent off. The discount goes up and the day goes on, ending with an auction.
This new development still doesn't answer many questions for the brides who contacted us.
We're still working to find out what recourse they have. We are continuing our investigation and will update you when we have new information.