Celebration Studios Ripoff – Guilty!

11/12/2009 Update:

Celebration over, as owner pleads guilty to theft

Over $930k taken from over 250 victims

marc-schwartz-celebration-studios-charged-with-probation-wedding-photosRemember this story from nearly 450 days ago on Hoboken411? Well “Celebration Studios” owner Marc Schwartz finally appeared in Superior Court in Morristown, NJ yesterday – and pleaded guilty to theft for stealing from customers who paid his company for his services and never received their photos. Additionally, eight photographers he had used were also never paid for work performed for the company.

Schwartz apparently got greedy and grew his business too fast – having twelve area locations at it’s peak (including the one in Hoboken). When the economy started to tank, his high overhead left him with little extra to pay other companies used to contract out services such as wedding albums – who eventually refused to ship product until payments were made.

Customers got mad, spread the word (on websites like Hoboken411), and boom!, next thing you know – he’s doomed.

He faces punishment of up to a year of probation and eventual re-payment of some kind to the victims affected.

ORIGINAL POST – 7/23/2008:

Hoboken411 reader “ahobokenguy” sent this email about wedding photography ripoff!:

hoboken-celebration-studios-nj-wedding-photography-scam.jpg

Celebration ruined because of them!

“I am not sure if you were aware of the Celebration Studios fiasco that hit NJ and the surrounding area earlier this year, and I am still waiting to hear the outcome as my wife and I have not received our wedding pictures, etc from our fall 2006 wedding and I know there are more then a few other Hoboken residents who are in the same boat and I was wondering what they were doing to get their proofs and digital masters.”

Well, since that email, there was a letter to defrauded consumers sent out by the NJ Attorney General’s office.

You can see the original report from the NY Times earlier in the year here.

Were you one of the customers that got ripped off?

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35 Comments on "Celebration Studios Ripoff – Guilty!"

jc5201
Member
jc5201

This guy is facing up to one year probation for stealing over $930,000? WTF? Where’s the deterrent in sentencing from others doing this? Future and current criminals – forget about armed robbery, this is the crime for you! Low risk, high reward!

matt_72
Member

Parks is huge since we outsource much of the groundskeeping to landscapers. The # of crossing guards is outrageous considering the # of useless bodies at the BOE that could easily do that task 1 hour a day for free. Parking is easily 25% overstaffed. Pretty much everyone at the top of the payroll is overpaid……and overpaid by a good 20%. Shoot, you could reduce the payroll by 20% and not a single taxpaying resident would know the difference. The payroll is far from “fine”.

Biffy B For Mayor
Member
Biffy B For Mayor

[quote comment=”95110″]Biffy – when will you start making excuses for the payroll? We have been waiting for you or someone like you to make a comment on that PDF H411 put up w/ the city payroll on it. You and all the other posters that like to defend the status quo have been very quiet since that made it on the site.[/quote]

Payroll looked good to me. Seemed competitive. Parking and Parks departments seemed to be a little large — not really sure why.

But if we really need to cut $10MM, does doing away with $200,000 in excess jobs really help? Does that fix what went wrong? — NO

These gaps happen — all the time. Look at the MTA — its cyclic.

Biffy B For Mayor
Member
Biffy B For Mayor

No — I don’t work for the city and I dont work in HR

matt_72
Member

Biffy – when will you start making excuses for the payroll? We have been waiting for you or someone like you to make a comment on that PDF H411 put up w/ the city payroll on it. You and all the other posters that like to defend the status quo have been very quiet since that made it on the site.

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