Tattoo removal company closes, owes customers money


by Andy Treinen

Posted on September 17, 2013 at 12:22 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 17 at 7:18 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A tattooed contestant in the Miss America Pageant is just another example of how tattoos are all the rage these days.

Sometimes people make mistakes and when they do, getting the ink removed becomes a high priority.

A tattoo brought Whitney Reitz to, a location that also operated as Laser Genics and Cardinal Massage.

“It says ‘Love Fearlessly’ and I got it probably a year ago and I don’t know why I got it honestly. I just wanted to get a tattoo and I realized after I got it, that I don’t want this on me anymore,” Reitz said.

Reitz paid $295.00 for 10 laser removal treatments, a steal by industry standards. She only received one treatment at Laser-My-Tat’s Lexington location. Richard Travelstead administered her treatment.

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The problem according to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure is that Travelstead is not a physician and the procedure requires it.

Dr. Thomas Cummins say he paid Travelstead $10,000 to partner on tattoo removal and to use one of his lasers.

“Perhaps maybe a week later I was notified by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure that he was being investigated," he said.

Cummins is a 23 year plastic surgeon in Louisville who like Reitz and a lot of other people has been looking for Travelstead for weeks.

We agreed to meet Rietz at the Taylorsville Road location after Travelstead stopped taking her calls.

Other customers showed up looking for answers while we were there. Liz Moreno called shortly afterward.

“He will not return my phone calls. I have e-mailed him I have tried to go to the web site and the web site has been shut down by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensing," Moreno said.

The board has turned over the case to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office but that is not the only investigation going on.

Dr. Cummins says despite the promotional poster, the lasers which were made in China should not have been used in the U.S.

“At the top, the first thing listed FDA approved and we’re not finding out that the laser was not FDA approved,” he said.

Richard Travelstead wouldn’t talk on camera but he told me on the phone he feels horrible about the company going out of business. He says it’s all because of a ruling on August 15 that the laser had to be administered by a doctor.

Travelstead also said his margins were laser thin, with all customer payments invested back into the business. In other words nobody is getting any money back.

"The financial part for everybody including myself is terrible,” he said.

Dr. Cummins says he didn’t make a single dollar using the laser and he’s considering suing to get his $10,000 back.

Travelstead wouldn’t comment on his arrangement with Cummins and says he had no idea his lasers weren’t FDA approved. sold many of these tattoo removal services through Groupon and Living Social.