Families file theft complaints against evicted Flower Mound wedding planner




Posted on September 6, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 7 at 11:28 AM

FLOWER MOUND – North Texas couples planning the perfect wedding are now planning to file criminal complaints. Flower Mound Police now have nearly two-dozen cases after the couples' paid-for venue suddenly closed last month.

Kelly Burkhardt and her groom had to get married Saturday. Both started new jobs this week. But two weeks ago, their wedding plans fell apart when Janice Falkenstein of Chapel des Fleurs, sent them and dozens of other couples a devastating email. Cliff Hodge & Associates, the owner of the building, evicted Falkenstein because of late rent payments.

Burkhardt and other families paid more than $10,000 each for their weddings.

"They took our money and we got nothing for it," said Greg Getting, another Bride’s father. "And there's been no communications as to returning the money. And the only way it looks like we're going to do it is to file charges."

A Flower Mound police spokesman said 22 families filed criminal complaints against Falkenstien. The most recent is Sharla Burkhardt, who says she wants justice, not a civil lawsuit. 

"I don't want to spend another dime on her, on an attorney, a lawyer or nothing," said Burkhardt. "I'm done."

Getting also plans on filing a theft complaint with police. 

"I don't want to do it," said Getting. "I don't like to do it. I think it's the right thing to do, not only to help myself, but to help the other ones involved who are probably less fortunate than I am."

The Burkhardt and Getting weddings did take place at Chapel des Fluers this past weekend on the days they were planned, thanks to the building owners, some understanding vendors and a new event planner who plans on buying the building. 

"We're keeping their days and we're working with their vendors and we're trying to make sure they get their wedding, pretty much at a discount price," said Carrie Ehlert, who works with the new planner.

Flower Mound Police are taking theft reports. They said they will turn them all over to the Denton County District Attorney's office, which will conduct its own investigation.