Ohio sues florist who no-showed on wedding day

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MONACO – JULY 02: The bouquet of flowers left by Princess Charlene of Monaco inside Sainte Devote church after the religious wedding ceremony at the Prince’s Palace of Monaco on July 2, 2011 in Monaco. The Roman-Catholic ceremony followed the civil wedding which was held in the Throne Room of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco on July 1. With her marriage to the head of state of the Principality of Monaco, Charlene Wittstock has become Princess consort of Monaco and gains the title, Princess Charlene of Monaco. Celebrations including concerts and firework displays are being held across several days, attended by a guest list of global celebrities and heads of state. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

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An Ohio florist who allegedly abandoned couples on their wedding day has been sued by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost for violating consumer protection laws.

The civil lawsuit, filed today in Greene County Common Pleas Court, states that Desiree Gilliam Pace, doing business as Flowers by Des, violated the Consumer Sales Practices Act by accepting money from Ohio consumers for weddings and other important events but failing to deliver services.

 “Weddings are meant to be a celebration of love, not a chance for a heartless grifter to leave couples empty-handed and upset,” Yost said. “This action won’t take the sting away from that day, but I vow to help these couples get some payback.”

Yost is seeking restitution for at least 48 Ohioans who were allegedly scammed out of more than $50,000.

Flowers by Des, 99 Lowell Road, Xenia, is no longer in business.

AG Yost says Pace has been unresponsive to repeated requests by Yost’s Consumer Protection Section to make her victims whole.

The lawsuit charges Pace with one count of failure to deliver and misrepresenting the status of orders and refunds, both violations of the Consumer Sales Practices Act. The filing comes three months after Yost’s investigators began receiving consumer complaints about Pace.

An investigation found consumers either paid in full for services or put down a 50% deposit for Pace to provide flowers for their events. AG Yost says Pace either canceled the contracts within days of the events or, without notice, failed to appear at the events when she was contractually required to do so.

AG Yost says Pace forced consumers to scramble for flowers for their weddings or other events at considerable additional cost. Other consumers were left without flowers for their special events. Pace told consumers who requested refunds that, pursuant to the contracts, they had to wait 90 days to receive their refunds. She also misrepresented to consumers the status of their refunds.

In nearly all cases Pace did not issue refunds.

Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive sales practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.

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