Texas Wedding Planner Arrested After Stealing from 14 Couples
A wedding planner from McKinney, TX is facing charges after 14 couples said they paid her for her planning services, only to be left hanging at the end.
Tina Pope's actions came to light last year when the Dallas NBC affiliate looked into the story after two brides came forward saying they paid Pope upfront for her services, only to have Pope not show up to any planning meetings. According to the brides, Pope offered a discount on her services if they paid upfront.
McKinney Assistant Police Chief Randy Roland said that detectives were able to build a case against Pope showing that she took over $20,000 from couples and had no intent to provide services in return. Pope was discovered by all accusing couples at the Cotton Mill, a popular venue in the area. And because Pope's actions were isolated to the single venue, Roland said it made building a case against her easier,
We were fortunate that the suspect did not use a number of area wedding chapels or wedding reception areas because then it gets into other jurisdictions, and it's harder to connect the dots.
When NBC 5 spoke with Pope last year, she gave several excuses as to why she missed her planning meetings with clients, ranging from being on vacation to both she and her daughter having tumors. After NBC ran their story on Pope, Pope reportedly contacted her clients to inform them that she had to go out of business for personal reasons and she intended to completely repay the money. Now working as a bartender, Pope could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. According to Pope,
I am a good person. I have a strong faith, a strong belief in God, and I never intended to hurt anyone. I never – God strike me dead – intended this to happen.
via NBC 5