Weekly Feature

2017-12-13 / Local News

Schneiderman sues Buffalo music promoter for fraud

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced a lawsuit against Cody Conway, a Buffalo music promoter, and his company, Buffalove Music Festival, LLC. Conway promoted the Buffalove Music Festival 2017, which was to take place from July 20-23 in Franklinville, NY. The complaint alleges that Conway cancelled the festival weeks before the scheduled date and failed to refund customers who purchased tickets to the event. In total, 146 New Yorkers purchased tickets from Conway for a combined $14,896.42 including service fees, with tickets ranging from $85 to $125 a piece, the complaint alleges.

"New Yorkers should get what they pay for and they’re entitled to timely refunds if event organizers don’t follow through on their promises," said Schneiderman.

After receiving consumer complaints, the attorney general's office launched an investigation into Conway. As alleged in the complaint, the investigation uncovered that Conway cancelled the festival on June 5, 2017 and, although he promised to provide refunds within 90 days, failed to do so.

The AG’s office learned that Ticketfly (a site through which Conway sold tickets) made a payment totaling $13,305 to Conway for the tickets that were purchased on their site, and expected that Conway would refund customers. When he failed to do so, Ticketfly provided the refunds to consumers who purchased tickets through their site. However, some would-be concertgoers may have made payments directly to Conway – and therefore did not receive refunds. In particular, Conway still owes one customer $1,000 for a cabin rental during the weekend of the festival.

During the investigation, the AG’s office served Conway with a subpoena, requiring that he produce records of the ticket sales and have his sworn statement taken. Conway allegedly failed to cooperate with the investigation, leading the AG’s office to file a lawsuit against him. The attorney general seeks to require that Conway disclose all persons who made payments directly to him and refund those payments. Additionally, the lawsuit seeks to prohibit Conway from promoting concerts or engaging in any business in New York state, until he pays full restitution, penalties and costs.

The attorney general encourages consumers purchasing tickets for an event to avoid paying by debit card, wire transfer or pre-paid money transfer. If the event is cancelled, consumers may have a difficult time getting their money back. Consumers who pay by credit card, however, can dispute the charge if the event is cancelled. Consumers who believe they are the victim of a scam should file a complaint online or call the consumer helpline at 1-800-771-7755.

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