Wedding Florist's Alleged Shtick: Not Showing Up

Ohio AG says Desiree Gilliam Pace scammed 48 clients out of $50K
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2021 4:35 PM CDT
Wedding Florist's Alleged Shtick: Not Showing Up
Desiree Gilliam Pace of Ohio’s Flowers by Des is accused of scamming 48 clients out of $50,000.   (Getty Images/Kateryna Kukota)

(Newser) – A purported florist allegedly accepted tens of thousands of dollars from couples ahead of their weddings, but never showed up with the ordered flowers. That's according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who's suing the now-shuttered Flowers by Des in Xenia, Greene County, for violations of the Consumers Sale Practice Act. Owner Desiree Gilliam Pace is accused of scamming at least 48 customers out of more than $50,000, reports the Springfield News-Sun. "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 in a statement. "I vow to help these couples get some payback."

Pace demanded full payment or a 50% deposit for her services when a contract was signed, with the rest of the funds to be paid on the day the flowers arrived, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. She then "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," the attorney general's office says in a release, per WHIO. Couples either had to go without bouquets and centerpieces on their big day, or scramble to find flowers at significant additional cost, according to the civil lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The suit refers to 48 customers, but a bride who is not part of the litigation tells WHIO that Pace failed to provide the ordered flowers for her wedding last week, for which she paid $1,300 in advance. "This isn't anything except old-fashioned grifting," Yost told WHIO. He said Pace told some customers that they had to wait 90 days for a refund based on their contracts, but most customers never received any money. Indeed, Yost said Pace failed to respond to his office's repeated requests that she issue refunds. She's charged with failure to deliver and misrepresenting the status of orders and refunds, per the News-Sun. (Read more florist stories.)

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