Attorney General James Returns $427,000 to New Yorkers Who Had Events Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
76 New Yorkers Fully Refunded Deposits for Events Cancelled
Due to NYS’s Restrictions on Large Gatherings
AG James Has Helped Return Nearly $800,000 to New Yorkers
Who Reserved Spaces for Events Cancelled Since March 2020
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced she successfully arranged for the Greentree Country Club in New Rochelle, NY to make full restitution to 76 consumers who paid deposits for events that were cancelled as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. After the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) intervened to work with the owner of the Greentree Country Club — M.N. & G Restaurant and Caterer, Inc. — all consumers who sought a refund received full restitution, totaling $427,000.
“The pandemic caused a wave of disruption throughout New York state as we saw weddings, religious ceremonies, professional conferences, and many other large gatherings cancelled or delayed,” said Attorney General James. “Most of those events required deposits, totaling thousands of dollars paid upfront. After working with the owners of the Greentree County Club, I am happy to announce that all 76 consumers who paid deposits to the club will receive full restitution as we put $427,000 back into New Yorkers’ pockets. Since the start of the pandemic, we now have returned almost $800,000 to New Yorkers and will continue to fight for more, especially as the pandemic continues to take a financial toll on our state’s residents.”
In the spring of 2020, when COVID-19 began to quickly spread across the state, New York, like the rest of the nation, initiated lockdowns that prohibited large scale events from taking place. As events began to be cancelled, consumers who had placed deposits for events began to request refunds from the Greentree Country Club but were denied. Those consumers, instead, were offered other resolutions, such as rescheduling the event to a future date, accepting a credit of the deposit for future use, or transferring the credit to another person or event. Between April and September of 2020, the OAG received complaints from numerous consumers who paid deposits for cancelled events at the Greentree Country Club. The OAG was able to quickly resolve these matters earlier this year and negotiated thousands of dollars in refunds for those complainants. Based on the volume of complaints, the OAG initiated a full investigation, resulting in today’s restitution.
The OAG worked with the Greentree Country Club to make consumers whole and return those deposits that were not forfeited by unforeseeable events, like the COVID-19 pandemic. The OAG successfully negotiated with the Greentree Country Club to secure full restitution for 76 consumers who previously paid deposits to the venue. All 76 consumers have now been fully reimbursed the $427,000 they paid.
From March of 2020 through the present, the OAG received similar complaints about events booked and later cancelled due to pandemic restrictions. During this time, Attorney General James has helped recover a total of almost $800,000 for New Yorkers whose events were cancelled. In a number of other instances, consumers were able to successfully reschedule their events for a later date.
If consumers are having issues receiving a refund on a deposit for an event cancelled due to COVID-19 statewide regulations, they are encouraged to fill out an OAG complaint form or call the office’s hotline at (800) 771-7755.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Sandra Giorno-Tocco and Senior Consumer Fraud Representative John Katzenstein, under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General In-Charge of the Westchester Regional Office Gary Brown. The Westchester Regional Office is a part of the Division for Regional Affairs, which is led by Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Jill Faber. The Division for Regional Affairs is overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.