UPDATE: Man said to have defrauded engaged couples calls allegations 'lies'
UPDATE: The man who allegedly ripped off couples in Eastern Iowa over a wedding venue says it's all a lie.
TV9 first reported on the story, Friday.
At least four couples were planning on getting married at an up-and-coming NewBo venue in Cedar Rapids. But, they say they were left scrambling after the man leasing the property told them he wasn't going to finish it in time. The couples had put down deposits and say they never got that money back.
TV9 reached out to the person leasing the venue, Jordan Farley. We called and texted. Farley never responded.
Saturday morning Farley left TV9 a voicemail calling the allegations false.
"I do want to let you know you did end up miss-reporting on a story last night," said Farley in the message. "There were actually four or five lies straight up lies which is defamation and libel if you guys have heard about it."
Following that voicemail, TV9 again reached out to Farley for clarification and to find out why the deposits were never returned. He hadn't replied by the time of this story's publication.
At least four couples ready to tie the knot in Cedar Rapids have been scrambling to find a new venue after the venue they planned to have their weddings at fell through.
It involved the top floor of the old Chromehorse building in Newbo. That's the same building that Brewhemia and Caucho are in.
The two business partners renovating it promised couples it would be a music and event venue, but the work still isn't done.
Now the young couples who put down deposits are left wondering if they will ever get their money back.
Soon-to-be married couple Sara and Joe Alger are exchanging their wedding vows on Saturday.
"We've made it through so many hurdles at this point and headaches you know we both have such a carefree you know as long as we're with each other," Joe Alger said.
Those hurdles involved scrambling to find a venue after the one they originally planned on fell through. Joe worked a lot in New-Bo and met a man named Jordan Farley who told him he was opening a music and event venue on the second floor of the old Chromehorse building. The young couple thought it would be the perfect spot for their wedding so they put down a deposit a year and a half ago. Some months went by and that's when they started getting worried.
"He kept reassuring me that it would be then as we kept progressing closer to our date January still nothing had happened up there so after going back and forth with him saying it would be ready then by mid-February he finally said yeah we're not gonna have anything ready to go for you guys by May," Joe Alger said.
They were out $4,000 all together and the business partners have stopped communicating with them.
"I've partnered up through a legal team through Jacobsen Johnson & Wiezorek and they've been contacting him to kind of line everything up trying to recoup some of our deposit for the venue which we're hopeful but it doesn't sound like it's too promising," Joe Alger said.
Another venue in Cedar Rapids called A Touch of Class had an opening and fit them in.
TV9 reached out to Jordan Farley, the one accused of not paying back those couples, but did not hear back. Craig Byers, the real estate agent, confirmed Farley is no longer leasing the second floor, and it's back on the market.
The couple is also trying to find out if anyone else in town fell victim.