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Post date: December 10 2003

Niagara Falls Wedding Chapel To Pay Refunds

Attorney General Spitzer today announced refunds for consumers who had made pre-payments for wedding services from a Niagara Falls-based wedding chapel.

Niagara Wedding Chapel and its owner Christopher G. Shiah agreed to resolve an investigation into consumer complaints that they pre-paid for wedding packages that were not provided.

After receiving eight consumer complaints, Spitzer's office commenced an investigation that revealed that, in the summer of 2003, Shiah's telephone service was temporarily disconnected for a few weeks. As a result some customers with upcoming wedding dates were unable to contact Shiah. The couples were forced to make and pay for alternative wedding arrangements at other chapels. Thus, they never received the services for which they had already paid Shiah.

Shiah has agreed to pay full refunds totaling over $2,100 to those consumers who have contacted Spitzer's office. Shiah also has agreed that he will make full restitution to any other consumers who come forward with legitimate complaints against the wedding chapel.

In addition, Shiah paid $2,000 in civil penalties. He also agreed that, in the future, if he should engage in similar practices, he would pay the maximum penalties permitted by law.

Any individual interested in filing a complaint against the Niagara Wedding Chapel are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General James Morrissey of the Buffalo Regional Office.