Attorney General Cuomo Obtains $250k For Customers Of Defunct Queens And Long Island Bridal Centers
MINEOLA, N.Y. (July 20, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that his office obtained $250,000 for customers who were ripped off by Queens Bridal Center after it abruptly shut down without providing photos, videos and other services that were already paid for.
In some instances, the company, knowing full well that it was going bankrupt, continued to require customers to make large deposits for services it never intended to provide.
Attorney General Cuomo’s Office began investigating Queens Bridal Center, Inc., Queens Bridal Center of New York, Inc., Q-PID Corp. and Majestic Bridal Center, Inc. and its owners after the office received hundreds of complaints from consumers who had paid for wedding photography and videography services but never received them. Through a subsequent agreement settling the case, the company is paying $250,000 in restitution to impacted consumers and $75,000 in penalties, fees and costs to the state.
“This is a story of wedding dreams turned into a planning nightmare,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “This company promised wedding photos, videos and other services, but ended up taking thousands of dollars from couples who were left scrambling to get photos and albums of their special day. Even on the day they closed down, they continued to deceive customers who paid for their services.”
Without any sort of warning or notice to customers, Queens Bridal Center, Inc., Queens Bridal Center of New York, Inc., Q-PID Corp. and Majestic Bridal Center, owned by Beth, Glen and Mark Ullo and Jack Simon, shut down its four studios and declared bankruptcy in late 2007. At the time, the company had locations at 153 Jericho Turnpike in Mineola, 294 E. Montauk Highway in Lindenhurst, 60-16 Fresh Pond Road in Maspeth, and 527 Meacham Avenue in Elmont.
The company required large deposits from customers for photography and videography services. At the time it shut down, Queens Bridal Center had failed to complete work for which approximately 550 customers had contracted and paid.
Egregiously, while knowing their business was going under, the owners of Queens Bridal Center continued to solicit new business and repeatedly called customers asking them to come in and make their final payments. In one case, Queens Bridal Center took a $564 payment on the very day the business shut down. Additionally, some customers’ checks were cashed even after the company had already gone out of business.
Of the affected 550 customers, some had their materials completed by another studio that agreed to take on Queens Bridal Center jobs at wholesale prices while other couples were able to retrieve their raw footage. Customers who paid for services for weddings taking place after the company shut down may receive restitution.
Through the agreement with Attorney General Cuomo’s Office, Queens Bridal Center must pay $250,000 in restitution for consumers. The company must also pay $75,000 in penalties, fees and costs to the state and $25,000 to the trustee for the now-bankrupt businesses. Queens Bridal Center and its principals are also permanently banned from providing photography and videography services unless they file a $100,000 performance bond with the Attorney General.
Consumers who have unresolved issues with Queens Bridal Center shall be eligible for consideration for restitution if they file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by November 5, 2009. Consumers wishing to do so should contact the Attorney General’s Nassau Regional Office at 516-248-3300 or visit www.ag.ny.gov.
The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Nassau Regional Office Valerie Singleton and Assistant Attorney General Toni Logue with assistance from Senior Investigator Paul Matthews and Forensic Accountant Lester Dier.