By Jay Meisel
MARTIN COUNTY - A Martin County man accepted numerous wedding deposits, but closed his business without fulfilling his contracts, authorities said.
Marc Bergeron, 52, of 2740 S.W. Martin Downs Blvd., Stuart, was arrested last week and charged with organized fraud.
Mr. Bergeron was arrested in Arlington, Texas, after a traffic stop, Rhonda Irons, public information officer for the Martin County Sheriff's Office, said in a press release.
In most of the cases, authorities said, Mr. Bergeron promised to provide wedding receptions through his business, Crystal Hall, located in Palm City. One complaint involved a sweet 16 party.
But Mr. Bergeron closed the business without providing the wedding receptions and did not return deposits, authorities said.
In some cases, customers said he referred them to another business, a complaint affidavit said.
But owners of those other businesses said they never agreed to be responsible for those contracts.
At least 12 customers filed complaints with the Martin County Sheriff's Office.
One customer told authorities she agreed in January to pay Mr. Bergeron just more than $6,000 to host her March 19, 2012, wedding, a complaint affidavit said.
She paid him a $1,230 deposit, the affidavit said.
After that, the woman told authorities, she made numerous attempts to contact Mr. Bergeron, who told her he was too busy, but could possibly fit her in during April, the affidavit said.
Then, she learned in April that he had auctioned off his business, the affidavit said.
Another woman told investigators she paid a deposit of $890 to Mr. Bergeron for a wedding scheduled on Oct. 20.
When she confronted him on the day of the auction of his business, he refused to give her the deposit back, the complaint affidavit said.
She said he told her "The new owners will be contacting you," the affidavit said.
But the new owner said she had no affiliation with Mr. Bergeron and she would not honor the contract, the affidavit said.
Another man told authorities he paid a $500 deposit for his daughter's "sweet 16 birthday party" and was told later another business in Port St. Lucie would honor the contract.
However, the owner of that business told investigators he never made any agreement with Mr. Bergeron to do that, the affidavit said.
While customers said Mr. Bergeron was not honoring his contracts, records showed he deposited more than $30,000 into his accounts, during the first three months of 2012, the affidavit said.
Between May 2011 and April 2012, Mr. Bergeron put more than $17,000 in deposits from customers who said later they never received any services.