SureShot Operator Ordered to Pay More Than $500,000 After Refusing to Deliver Wedding Footage
Order Includes $136,000 in Restitution for Consumers
BOSTON – The operator of a videography business called SureShot has been ordered to pay more than $500,000 in combined restitution, penalties and fees after failing to provide prepaid wedding videos to more than 150 newlyweds, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
A default judgment was entered today in Suffolk Superior Court by Judge Paul Troy against Jesse Clark, of Charlton, and his business SureShot Portraits, LLC. Under the judgment, Clark was ordered to pay more than $136,000 in restitution to consumers, and $370,000 in civil penalties and fees. In addition, Clark is permanently enjoined from conducting similar business as well as from soliciting or accepting consumer deposits or offering for sale videography service in Massachusetts. In January, the AG’s Office had obtained a preliminary injunction against Clark.
“SureShot stole thousands of dollars from newlyweds during what should have been the happiest moment of their lives,” AG Coakley said. “We are pleased that this judgment orders restitution for the couples robbed of their priceless memories and permanently prevents the defendant from taking deposits from any consumer in Massachusetts again.”
The AG’s Office has received more than 100 complaints from consumers who either gave deposits or paid the defendants in full for wedding videos that were never delivered. In January, the AG’s Office filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court seeking restitution, civil penalties and the full recovery of all existing event footage. The AG’s Office has begun contacting consumers to provide some of the footage collected from Clark and his business during the investigation.
Clark operated the business from a storefront in Millbury as well as through several online websites. According to the complaint, customers allegedly paid between $800 to $2,000 each for their video package before their weddings, expecting to receive a short highlight video two days after their ceremony and an edited 90-minute DVD approximately two months after their wedding date.
Clark allegedly had a long list of excuses to keep customers waiting for wedding videos that never came, including claims that wedding footage was destroyed during Hurricane Irene, that a power surge delayed production, and that a back-ordered DVD case prevented delivery of the final product. Eventually, Clark stopped responding to customer calls and emails without ever providing the prepaid wedding videos.
The videography business operated under the names SureShot Videography, In Focus Studios, Magnolia Films, Wedding Filmology, and Wedding Avenue. Clark used the aliases John Francis, Jaie Hart, and Michael Collins. In some cases, Clark allegedly threatened to hold overdue wedding videos hostage unless disappointed customers removed their negative online reviews on business rating websites.
Clark also allegedly used their control of consumers’ wedding footage to make additional demands, including requiring one customer to pay an additional $100 for a copy of the raw footage from his wedding and then failing to deliver.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Mychii Snape, of Attorney General Coakley’s Consumer Protection Division, with the assistance of paralegal Yolanda Kruczkowski, and Civil Investigator William Mackay.