Ohio florist accused of scamming wives for $ 50,000
An Ohio florist scammed dozens of customers over $ 50,000, dropping some on their wedding day with no flowers in sight, authorities said.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Wednesday filed a civil lawsuit against Desiree Gilliam Pace, owner of the since-closed Flowers by Des in Xenia, for accepting payment for weddings and other events, but failed not delivered the goods.
“Weddings are meant to be a celebration of love, not a chance for a heartless con artist to leave couples empty-handed and upset,” Yost said. “This action will not remove the sting of that day, but I swear to help these couples get revenge.”
The lawsuit seeking restitution Pace, 38, defrauded at least 48 state residents out of more than $ 50,000. Yost said an investigation found that guests paid for their flowers in full or made a 50% deposit before weddings or other events.
But Pace either canceled without notice on business day or simply failed to show up as she was contractually obligated to do, Yost said.
Pace is charged with non-delivery and misrepresentation of orders and refunds, violations of the Consumer Selling Practices Act. Wednesday’s civil lawsuit came after customers started complaining about Pace three months ago, Yost said.
“The pace has forced consumers to rush for flowers for their weddings or other events at considerable additional cost,” Yost’s office said in a statement. “Other consumers have found themselves without flowers for their special events.”
When customers requested refunds according to their contracts, Pace told them they had to wait 90 days, but in almost all cases she failed to refund them, Yost said.
Attempts to reach Pace, whose last known address was in Xenia, failed Thursday morning. Yost said she had not responded to attempts by her office to reimburse her victims, including some despised wives.
A private Facebook group called “Flowers by Des Cancellation / no show brides” had some 422 members, some of whom said they were scammed by Pace.
“My wedding was on Friday and unsurprisingly Des did not show up,” new bride Ashley Fieder wrote on Sunday. “I had a backup and really hadn’t thought about it until now. I’ll file police reports tomorrow.