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Florists charged brides thousands but never delivered wedding flowers

TAMPA BAY – Newlywed Jacqueline Ruby envisioned a fairytale marriage ceremony. Her seek for the right floral designer led her to Jason Saunders, proprietor of Jason’s Creations Wedding & Occasion Floristry LLC.

“His title popped up all over the place each bridal store advisable him,” Ruby mentioned.

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

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

I-Crew investigator Jackie Callaway discovered that brides had filed comparable complaints with the Legal professional Normal, Higher Enterprise Bureau and shopper safety bureaus in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

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

A number of brides who contacted ABC Motion Information mentioned Saunders used a cell software program utility to request cost, even after they mentioned he stopped returning calls about their order.

Jason’s Creations was positioned in downtown St. Petersburg till the top of 2020. Courtroom paperwork reveal that Saunders’ former enterprise companion Antonio Bell filed a lawsuit towards him in December 2020 alleging fraud and misappropriation of funds. In August 2021, Jason Saunders filed for chapter.

Bell’s lawyer says he was a minority proprietor who did administrative duties. Bell is known as a sufferer within the lawsuit.

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

He replied to our messages in an electronic mail assertion. Briefly, Saunders claims he labored with some brides to get their a reimbursement, however he did not reply once we requested the names of these brides. He additionally accuses his former enterprise companion of locking him out of the enterprise account, which he says compelled him to overlook weddings.

Beneath is Jason Saunders’ assertion:

“It has been delivered to my consideration that you’re investigating a narrative involving me and Jason’s Creations. I wished to offer you some particulars while you requested what my aspect of the story was. Clearly since that is an ongoing (sic) struggle I’ve needed to cope with my ex enterprise companion who occurred to be my vital different/fiancé I’ve to maintain it minimal. Briefly, I used to be the artistic power behind Jason’s Creations and owned 51% and my ex owned 49% of the enterprise website. He was the one who took care of contracts, monies obtained or refunded. All my login credentials had been modified, which was initially disputed however got here out in court docket, as did his assertion that he really rearranged all the pieces in a method that I (sic) may not entry it. I can not see any contracts or details about a bride. This led to missed weddings, which in fact precipitated an uproar amongst many brides, and rightly so! The final phrases I heard had been, “I will watch your small business, crash and burn,” and so they did simply that. There may be a lot extra to all of this that I wish to shout from the rooftops (sic) however having been harassed, threatened and instructed to observe what I say, that is the extent of what I can share , on the subject of that. I’ve emailed EVERY bride who has contacted me to allow them to instruct their banks and bank card firms to reverse the funds and everybody has thanked me and instructed me it labored. If there are extra brides on the market who’ve employed (sic) Jasons Creations please permit them to succeed in out to you and provides them my electronic mail tackle instantly as a substitute of plastering them on the messages with that I also can ship you this letter within the hope of amassing misplaced cash. These allegations have been made in court docket in all makes an attempt to achieve traction with the ex-partner and so they have all been dismissed and dominated in my favour. In the meantime, the decide was instructed that all the pieces I’ve constructed and labored so onerous for, each stock I personal, is in a storage unit that solely they’ve a key to. I made the choice to depart Florida when my life was threatened and came visiting a sister and childhood buddy. Now, nearly 1 12 months later, the shop I used to be serving to out at seasonally (sic) nonetheless will get hassled whereas I wasn’t even there. On a regular basis and power, together with the cash, went into the brand new studio house in St. Pete Fl, which we signed a lease on and paid for renovations that by no means opened. Nevertheless, I’ll inform everybody that I’m very sorry that this occurred, that I trusted the mistaken individual in my life and this has led to this enterprise closure. And once more if there are brides that you’ve contacted and haven’t obtained a refund please let me know so I can ship this letter to hopefully make it easier to not directly. This can be very unhappy after I consider the years I’ve put into rising my enterprise, the eagerness my purchasers noticed as I ready their marriage ceremony, the 5 star scores I’ve maintained, doing all the pieces for my brides when all of it fell aside devastated by one thing completely out of their management… It was actually a nightmare and I apologize once more individually in it however I additionally need to thank the brides who’ve continued to help , forwarding the junk among the many few who need it Maintain this messy as a substitute of making an attempt to attach each misplaced bride to me in hopes of her refund.

Veteran marriage ceremony planner Stephanie Voth, who has nothing to do with Jason’s Creations, says many brides did not see any signal of bother till it was too late. Voth advises brides who’re at the moment planning their marriage ceremony to:

  • Ask your marriage ceremony planner for an inventory of their trusted distributors
  • If doable, pay by bank card so that you’re coated in case of issues
  • Negotiate a smaller deposit and keep away from paying full months earlier than the occasion

A number of brides who contracted with Jason’s Creations say they had been compelled to rent different sellers and pay for his or her flowers once more after Saunders’ retailer 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 most important day of her life,” she mentioned.

Shoppers who really feel cheated can file a criticism with the Legal professional Normal’s fraud quantity 866-9NOSCAM or with native regulation enforcement businesses.

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