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150 devastated couples conned out of wedding venue

Couples Out Tens Of Thousands After Wedding Venue Closes

The former owner of a popular wedding venue has pleaded not guilty to tax fraud charges, but something different is getting him a lot more attention.

WNYW reports Jason Stephens owned a business known as reBar in Brooklyn, New York. Stephens unexpectedly put up a sign earlier this month saying the venue was bankrupt and had closed.

He let his employees know through an email. The New York Post reports the May 9 closure left more than 50 employees without a job, and couples who had booked weddings there were baffled and devastated.

ABC reports many customers shelled out tens of thousands of dollars for their special day over the past few months, and many of those guests say they are still trying to get their money back.

One woman set to be married in September told ABC she's looking to get $34,000 back from Stephens.

"I would love to have every single penny back, but if I can't get a dime, I want him to be in jail."

WCBS notes 150 couples are now trying to figure out where they're going to hold their weddings.

WABC says Stephens has not been charged with anything related to the deposits, but many of the brides who say they're out thousands are getting ready to sue him.

Several of those brides say they've gotten help from the now unemployed reBar workers to reschedule their weddings at new venues. According to WCBS, Stephens is due back in court next month.

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linxwind May 26 2014 at 11:12 AM

Spending $34,000 on a wedding is crazy in the first place !!

Flag Reply +94 rate up
27 replies
debnaert May 26 2014 at 11:13 AM

WHO in their right mind SPENDS 34,000 dollars on a wedding???????? People are absolutely insane today!

Flag Reply +73 rate up
12 replies
crowland503 May 26 2014 at 11:04 AM

Reminds me of Barak Obama's marriage to the Democratic Party: A fraud to the American People in the making! The wedding pictures were smiles of deceit!

Flag +58 rate up
50 replies
thegrrrr8est May 26 2014 at 11:09 AM

Thirty four thousand dollars on a wedding? Really? How self-absorbed are these people?

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14 replies
LRDI May 26 2014 at 10:55 AM

Looks like a strategic bankruptcy to me.

Flag Reply +31 rate up
2 replies
Jim LRDI May 26 2014 at 11:33 AM

Howl's that?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
juststeve35 Jim May 26 2014 at 11:38 AM

The fact that he was taking deposits up to the very day he declared bankruptcy!

Flag +24 rate up
starthrower50 LRDI May 27 2014 at 3:18 AM

He hasn't even filed for bankruptcy. He just cashed the checks, e-mailed his employees, and ran. He's a coward, however you want to look at it.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Joy May 26 2014 at 11:32 AM

The money spent on weddings is outrageous. Sure this guy is a crook and these folks should get their money back but in retrospect, a wedding is about two people committing their selves to each other, the rest is just so much fluff and even more stress.

Flag Reply +26 rate up
6 replies
fentex5 May 26 2014 at 11:26 AM

Our daughter and son in law did us an enormous favor. They were married by a judge in his chambers at the court house. In a weird twist of fate, my wife and I were on vacation in a casino in Las Vegas when the newlyweds phoned us from Austin, Texas with the news. In 1968, my wife and I had the big wedding that neither set of parents could really afford. It was not common back then for the bride and groom to pay for any of the wedding aside from buying gifts for our honor attendants. We had no idea that some bridal couples paid for their own weddings. If that had been the case for us, our wedding would have been on a much smaller scale--maybe like our daughter and son in law's wedding. I'm not a person who likes a lot of gratuitous ceremony. My wife, however, still regrets not being able to drive herself nuts planning a big wedding. To me, the avoidance of all that drama far outweighs any of the cost of that a formal wedding .

Flag Reply +25 rate up
4 replies
kvave May 26 2014 at 11:03 AM

Well what needs to be done .........is while in Jail , seize all assets , auction to pay the debt. Too many times these fraudsters claim Bankruptcy and get out still pocketing all the profit

Flag Reply +20 rate up
4 replies
LONNY307 May 26 2014 at 11:09 AM

Feds should freeze all his accounts

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2 replies
Diane LONNY307 May 26 2014 at 1:47 PM

They should throw him in jail & take his passport so he doesn't leave the country & can't be found.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
LoveTheShackDude Diane May 27 2014 at 4:17 AM

I hope they does just that ...Diane

Flag +1 rate up
LoveTheShackDude LONNY307 May 27 2014 at 4:17 AM

I agree Lonny

Flag Reply +1 rate up
magicnice May 26 2014 at 10:59 AM

The most important day in one woman and one man's life has been destroyed by a greedy businessman. With these amouts of money involved, I would think he rates a much longer jail sentence. I hope he even goes to to jail. If he doesn't, there are enough people that can sue him until he's pleading for welfare help...at least that's my fantacy.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
9 replies
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