Wedding planner surrenders after duping 16 couples

·3 min read

A WEDDING planner surrendered to Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after at least 16 couples claimed he had duped them into parting with their money for non-existent services.

Gregorio Osain, 30, a resident of Barangay Looc, in the same city, turned himself in to Chan after the mayor asked his followers on his social media page to locate him.

Chan said he decided to seek online help after one of the couples complained that Osain had taken their money but had not given updates on the progress of their wedding preparations.

Aside from the couple who sought his help, Chan said at least 15 other couples had expressed intent to sue Osain for his failure to commit to their wedding preparations.

But lawyer James Allan Sayson, Lapu-Lapu City Legal officer, said that on Wednesday, June 22, around six of 16 affected couples had appeared at the Lapu-Lapu City Police Station 3 in Barangay Gun-ob for a possible “compromise agreement” between them and Osain.

Sayson said based on his assessment, Osain may have carted away at least P1 million from them.

He said they have given the couples the option to either pursue a case against Osain or enter into a compromise agreement.

If a compromise agreement is reached, Osain can be given time to pay back the money he owed the couples, Sayson said.

Response

When he met with the couples on Wednesday, Osain admitted he had mismanaged the money given to him by his clients and vowed to pay back what he owed them.

Osain claimed he “miscalculated” the spending of the wedding funds he was given, adding that he often used the fees paid to him by other couples to fund the wedding preparations of his other clients.

Osain said couples need to pay only a minimum fee of P75,000 if they want to secure his services. This included preparations for the church wedding ceremony and food for guests.

He said that in June, he accepted about 10 wedding bookings in one month in the hope that he could handle them without any consequence.

But Osain said of the 10 weddings he was scheduled to handle this month, five were not successful. He admitted he did not show up in four weddings that were scheduled from June 18 to 21.

“Nahulog og gidaganan gyud ta mo. Unya di jud nako intention nga duwaan inyong kasal or unsa ba. Dili jud nako intention na i-scam mo kay nagtrabaho kong tarong gyud, pero na-mismanage gyud ang kwarta,” Osain told reporters.

(I admit to running away from my obligations. I had no intention of playing around with your dream wedding. I had no intention to scam you. But I admit that I mismanaged the money you gave me.)

But Osain denied that he had used up the money for personal purposes.

Osain said he didn’t show up or call the couples prior to and during the wedding as he didn’t want to ruin the ceremony.

Osain said he was willing to refund what he owed the couples but on an installment basis.

The couples, however, still expressed doubts on where Osain had spent the money.

The couples also received complaints from Osain’s suppliers who told them that he didn’t pay them in some weddings he organized.

Promise

Osain promised that he would not hide from them or go abroad but instead look for ways to pay them all in just three months, particularly through his sewing business. / MKG

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