ORLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — The Riviera Country Club and Sports Center in southwest suburban Orland Park has been ordered closed by the village, and people are flooding Twitter and Facebook, looking for answers.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke to two couples, who are now scrambling to find another venue for their receptions.READ MORE: Man Shot, Critically Wounded In Grant Park Near Roosevelt Road
The new husband-and-wife operators opened the banquet hall back up in June. They were busy planning events and weddings – but now the doors are shut, and people are left scrambling, trying to find a new place to hold their events.
“It’s really hard for me to believe that there are people out there at this time that would take advantage of people like this,” Yolanda O’Connor said tearfully.
Yolanda and Greg O’Connor trusted Lee Anglin with their big day. He and his wife, Jenni, were the couple who operated the banquet hall at the country club.
The O’Connors’ celebration was set for Aug. 14 – a week from Saturday.
“Total con man all the way through,” said Greggory O’Connor. “He knew exactly the right things to say and how to do it – how to pull the money in.”
Lee Anglin was arrested by U.S. Marshals at the country club last week. He was found living in the bridal suite, and he was wanted for violating his parole.
Anglin previously served time in federal prison in a $10 million federal fraud case.
“It was only three of four weeks ago that he took a $1,500 check from us,” said Yolanda O’Connor.
The couple got engaged in 2019, married in front of family in 2020 due to the pandemic, and had planned to party at the Riviera. Now, they are forced to find a new venue with just days to go.
“They’re playing on your emotions, really,” said Greg O’Connor.
The village revoked the Riviera’s liquor license this week, and the property owner asked that the business license be pulled as well.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Weekend Warmup
Jessica McCague and Aleah Tyrcha also booked an Aug. 14 wedding date at the Riviera.
Tyrcha: “Not responsive, not answering, you know, at all.”
De Mar: “So you don’t think you will see that money back?”
Tyrcha: “No. We’re being instructed to file a police report.”
McCague and Tyrcha too made arrangements directly with Lee Anglin, a convicted scammer.
“Something felt weird,” Tyrcha said.
“It was just wrong – like the whole situation was wrong, and now, you know, he’s screwing a lot of people,” said McCague.
The now-shuttered country club has more than $5,000 from both couples.
“It’s been very stressful for that alone, just trying to pay for a second venue,” said McCague.
The Village of Orland Park is encouraging people who have contracts with the Riviera to file a police report and contact the Illinois Attorney General.
De Mar did speak with the president of the Riviera – the man who owns the property. He said that he feels swindled as well, and he said he plans on selling the property, and will use the proceeds to pay back those who are owned money.MORE NEWS: Watchdog Report Says CPD Has Taken Few Steps To Fix Problems With Records Management In Court Cases
Both couples say they have found another venue.