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Florist has billed brides thousands but never delivered wedding flowers

TAMPA BAY – The newly married Jacqueline Ruby imagined a fairytale wedding ceremony. Her seek for the proper floral designer led her to Jason Saunders, proprietor of Jason’s Creations Wedding & Occasion Floristry LLC.

“His identify got here up wherever each bridal store really helpful him,” stated Ruby.

Below her contract with Jason’s Creations, Ruby agreed to pay the floral designer almost $ 5,000 for her wedding ceremony flowers. Ruby advised ABC Motion Information that Saunders wished to pay the invoice in full two months earlier than her massive day.

Financial institution data present that Ruby paid a lot of the cash to Jason’s Creations earlier than seeing different brides’ on-line complaints about Saunders and his firm.

Staff I investigator Jackie Callaway discovered that brides had filed related complaints with the Lawyer Basic, Higher Enterprise Bureau, and client safety bureaus in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

A assessment of court docket data reveals that Jason Saunders is a convicted felon. In 2017, he pleaded responsible to buying and selling in stolen property and offering false info to a pawnbroker.

A number of brides who contacted ABC Motion Information stated Saunders used a cellular software program utility to request fee even after saying he stopped answering calls about their order.

Jason’s Creations was situated in downtown St. Petersburg till the top of 2020. Court docket paperwork present that Saunders’ former enterprise accomplice Antonio Bell filed a lawsuit in opposition to him for fraudulent conduct and misappropriation of funds in December 2020. Jason Saunders filed for chapter in August 2021.

Bell’s legal professional says he’s a minority proprietor who has taken on administrative duties. Bell is assessed as a sufferer within the lawsuit.

ABC Motion Information confirmed that Saunders at the moment works for a florist in Lynchburg, Virginia.

He responded to our messages in an e-mail assertion. In brief, Saunders claims he labored with some brides to get their a refund, however did not reply after we requested for these brides’ names. He additionally accuses his former enterprise accomplice of banning him from the enterprise account, which he says has compelled him to overlook weddings.

The next is what Jason Saunders stated:

“It was delivered to my consideration that you simply have been investigating a narrative about me and Jason’s Creations. I wished to share some particulars with you if you requested about my facet of the story. Clearly, since that is an ongoing (sic) struggle I’ve with mine Ex-business accomplice who occurred to be my life accomplice / fiancé, I’ve to maintain it to a minimal. In brief, I used to be the artistic pressure behind Jason’s Creations and 51% proprietor and my ex was 49% enterprise proprietor. He was the one who took care of contracts, obtained or refunded all funds. All my credentials have been modified, which was initially denied, nevertheless it got here out in court docket, as did his testimony. that he truly modified all the things, so I (sic) I can not see any contracts or details about a bride, leading to missed weddings, which after all brought on an uproar amongst many brides gte. The final phrases I heard have been, “I am going to maintain your small business C rash and burning sensation” and so they did simply that. There’s a lot extra to something I wish to scream (sic) from the rooftops, however since I have been harassed, threatened, and directed to concentrate to what I say, that is the extent of what I can share in terms of that. I emailed EVERY bride who reached out to permit her banks and bank card corporations to reverse the cash and everybody thanked me and advised me it labored. If there are extra brides who’ve employed (sic) Jasons Creations, please permit them to contact you and provides them my e-mail straight as a substitute of sticking them within the messages in order that I can provide them this letter too within the hope of amassing misplaced cash. These allegations have been delivered to justice in all makes an attempt to permit the ex-partner to win absolutely anything and all dismissed and dominated in my favor. Within the meantime, the decide has been advised that no matter I’ve constructed and labored so onerous for, any stock I personal is in a storage room that solely they’ve a key to. I made the choice to go away Florida when my life was threatened and I came around a sister and childhood good friend. Now, nearly 1 yr later, the shop I used to be seasonally serving to out at remains to be being harassed whereas I have never even been there. On a regular basis and power, together with the cash that went into the brand new studio area in St. Pete Fl that we signed and paid for renovations that by no means opened. Nonetheless, I’ll inform everybody I’m very sorry that this occurred, that I trusted the improper individual in my life and it led to this enterprise closure. And once more, if there are brides who’ve contacted you and have not obtained a refund please let me know so I can ship this letter to hopefully that can assist you ultimately. It is vitally unhappy to think about the years I’ve put into rising my enterprise, the eagerness my purchasers noticed whereas making ready their wedding ceremony, the 5 star scores I’ve maintained by being I’ve accomplished all the things for my brides to trigger it to break down from one thing utterly uncontrolled … That was actually a nightmare and I apologize once more individually, however I might additionally wish to thank the brides for persevering with to be supportive and the trash talks amongst them ahead the identical few who wish to keep messy as a substitute of making an attempt to bond a misplaced bride to me in hopes of her refund. ”

Seasoned wedding ceremony planner Stephanie Voth, unrelated to Jason’s Creations, says many brides noticed no signal of hassle till it was too late. Voth advises brides who’re at the moment planning their wedding ceremony:

  • Ask your wedding ceremony planner for a listing of their trusted suppliers
  • If doable, pay by bank card so that you’re protected within the occasion of issues
  • Negotiate a smaller deposit and keep away from paying months upfront of the occasion

A number of brides who signed up with Jason’s Creations stated they have been compelled to rent different sellers and pay for his or her flowers once more after Saunders’ enterprise closed.

Jacqueline Ruby simply needs the additional $ 4,000 she needed to spend on a second florist.

“You do not try this to a bride on the best day of her life,” she stated.

Shoppers who really feel scammed can file a grievance with the Lawyer Basic’s fraud quantity 866-9NOSCAM or with native legislation enforcement companies.

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