'Meet Over Drinks' dating service called a fraud

Dating service troubles.
Dating service troubles.

A dating service with operations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania that deceived and defrauded its clients has been ordered to reimburse them by a New York State Supreme Court judge.

Justice Richard Liebowitz found Gary Ferone, president of "Great Date Now," and its successor, "Meet Over Drinks," personally liable "for the fraudulent, deceptive and illegal business acts of his companies," according to a report on LoHud.com.

The judge ordered Ferone to compensate former clients of Great Date Now and Meet Over Drinks to the tune of $720,000 in restitution, plus thousands more in court costs and penalties. A hearing in September will determine the precise amount of the penalties. The Purchase, N.Y.-based companies went bankrupt soon after New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed suit against them in December.

Ferone, a former Wall Street banker who was convicted of misdemeanor securities fraud in the 1990s, launched Great Date Now in 2004, which he promoted an alternative to online dating for upscale clients willing to pay for a consultation with a professional matchmaker.