(CBS) — A young couple turns to the 2 Investigators when their wedding plans are shattered.
They were supposed to have a trendy loft wedding, but they say their Michigan Avenue wedding planner disappeared with their money.
Sean and Lauren Burnetter almost had to cancel their wedding because they say the person they paid to plan the event took off with their money nine days before the big day.
“I just couldn’t believe it — that somebody could do this to anybody,” Sean Burnetter tells 2 Investigator Dave Savini.
He is talking about Tameka Jones. Jones was running a wedding planning company, Pretty in Pink, with a Michigan Avenue address, when the couple hired her.
The couple says they gave Jones more than $30,000 to pay all the vendors in advance for a catered loft wedding. Nine days before their wedding, they received a letter from Jones saying she was filing for bankruptcy.
The 2 Investigators found four additional bankruptcy cases, dating to 2008, connected to Jones (Jones says the other bankruptcies are personal, and not related to any business).
The couple says just a few days before the bankruptcy letter arrived, Jones tried to tack on more money to their bill, for things the couple says they never ordered.
“We already paid her about thirty grand and she asked for eighteen grand more,” Sean Burnetter says.
They filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office which confirms it is investigating. Meanwhile, the 2 Investigators found Tameka Jones started promoting a new company called Outside The Box Events and Catering.
She incorporated the new company right after claiming her other company was going bankrupt.
“I just felt horrible for them,” said Maryrose Burnetter, the groom’s stepmother.
His father, Bob Burnetter, wants Jones prosecuted.
“I think the whole time she was just dragging in every bit of money she could, knowing eventually she was going to walk away with it,” he says.
Reached late Monday, Tameka Jones admitted mismanaging and improperly handling the couple’s money. Jones says it is not fraud — she just messed up her company and went out of business.
The couple did have their day. Their family pitched in and, on top of what had been paid to Jones, spent more money for another hall. Victoria Banquets in Rosemont gave them a big discount.
“I would like our money back to help us start a life together,” Sean Burnetter says. “And I want to make sure she doesn’t do this to anybody else.”
Jones’ letter saying her company was filing for bankruptcy was sent in October. Court records show she still has not filed.
When asked if she will repay the couple, Jones said she cannot even pay the rent on her apartment.
When working with wedding planners, you can meet with the vendors yourself and make sure those vendors have been paid.