Posted: Oct 12, 2012 10:20 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com
Updated: Oct 12, 2012 10:50 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - In September of last year several brides-to-be hired Leza Chandler, former owner of Cha Cha Events, as a wedding planner. They all said they paid Chandler thousands of dollars but the caterers, florists and vendors never received a deposit.
Today police issued arrest warrant accusing Chandler of stealing more than $48,000 from 11 customers. Loretta Anslum was one of those victims, "I wish now I would have done things differently but at the time I was thinking "I want it to be perfect"."
Anslum says she was duped out of $10,000 after finding out the deposits she gave to Chandler never made it to the vendors forcing her to sacrifice just about everything to make her wedding day happen.
"We had to sacrifice on the cakes," Anslum said. "I didn't even get married in a church like I really wanted to. I got married at the freaking hotel"
Anslum wasn't the only victim, however. Last year 17 other people claimed to have ben duped by the same woman; brides-to-be, birthday girls and many others out thousands of dollars. After hearing police issued an arrest warrant for Chandler today, the victims all wondered the same thing. What took so long?
"Courtesy call, update or something," said Anslum. "To say if we're even going to get anything back or, you know, count your loss and move on from it."
Wendy Costa, a mother who planned her daughter's sweet 16 through Cha Cha Events says she was had the same question. "She left on September first of last year," she recollected. "I handed her to the police - address, phone number, were she was, who she was with - to them on the 17th of September of last year. They never did anything about it," she continued. "Now all of a sudden they have a warrant out for her but she's gone."
The police department said because this case involves a number of events that were all scheduled on different dates they had to wait for all those dates to come and go before they could pursue the case.
Regardless, Costa's daughter, Ashley, didn't have the 16th birthday party she wanted and Anslum, now married, looks back on her wedding day a little different; wishing, now, that she and her husband had that money for her wedding ring.
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