Celebration Studios Ripoff – Guilty!
Celebration over, as owner pleads guilty to theft
Over $930k taken from over 250 victims
Remember 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!:
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?