(WHDH) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday against a Xenia florist who allegedly abandoned couples on their wedding day and scammed them out of tens of thousands of dollars.
The lawsuit filed in Green County Common Pleas Court alleges that Desiree Gilliam Pace, doing business as Flowers by Des, violated the Consumer Sales Practices Act by accepting money from Ohio consumers for weddings and other important events but failing to deliver services.
“Weddings are meant to be a celebration of love, not a chance for a heartless grifter to leave couples empty-handed and upset,” Yost said. “This action won’t take the sting away from that day, but I vow to help these couples get some payback.”
Yost is seeking restitution for at least 48 Ohioans who were scammed out of more than $50,000, the AG’s office said.
Flowers by Des is no longer in business and the AG’s office says Pace has been unresponsive to repeated requests by Yost’s Consumer Protection Section to pay back her victims.
The lawsuit charges Pace with one count of failure to deliver and misrepresenting the status of orders and refunds, both violations of the Consumer Sales Practices Act.
An investigation found that consumers either paid in full for services or put down a 50 percent deposit for Pace to provide flowers for their events, the AG’s office said.
Pace either canceled the contracts within days of the events or failed to appear at the events without notice when she was contractually required to do so, the AG’s office added.
She also allegedly forced consumers to scramble for flowers for their weddings or other events at considerable additional cost, while others were left without flowers.
Pace told consumers who requested refunds that, pursuant to the contracts, they had to wait 90 days to receive their refunds, according to the AG’s office, adding that she misrepresented to consumers the status of their refunds.
In nearly all cases, Pace reportedly did not issue refunds.
No additional information has been released.
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