Emotional couples from Long Island and beyond have been waiting years for their precious wedding day memories. The couples paid thousands of dollar up front, for professional photos and videos, and they say that they were duped by a company called "Leli Photography".

LI Couples Have Waited Years For Wedding Photos

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Emotional couples from Long Island and beyond have been waiting years for their precious wedding day memories. The couples paid thousands of dollars up front, for professional photos and videos, and they say that they were duped by a company called “Leli Photography.”

“We were concerned,” Danielle and Vincent Rella of Smithtown, told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.

The couple claims that they were duped into pre-paying almost $4,000 for their wedding photos and videos. That was nearly five years ago.

The couple said that they only received a couple of proofs and were surprised to see themselves featured as a satisfied couple in a glossy bridal magazine ad for the man who they said hadn’t delivered.

CBS 2 found a dozen frustrated and angry couples who had discovered each other through word of mouth and an Internet blog. They all claim to have proof that they paid up front for pictures and videos that they never received.

Amy Kenner of Great Neck said she can’t bear to hear the word “video.”

“I say the word video in the house, and you can see her eyes start to tear up a little bit. It’s stolen from us,” said her husband, Doug. “It’s been almost four years.”

One couple from Huntington had a special dance choreographed and filmed at their wedding. They still haven’t seen the video.

Matthew and Danielle McLoughlin of East Meadow called them false promises.

“He invites you to his home. sits you down in his office. He promises you the sun, the moon, the stars, and then he delivers on none of it,” said Jessica and Jeremy Granger of Ronkonkoma.

CBS 2 tracked down wedding photographer Gary Leli in Saint James. He’s the man who some couples are referring to as a con man.

Leli claimed that financial problems are responsible for the delay.

“Well, ah, believe me I have all the respect in the world for their feelings, but like any business if you start running a lien on your income, it’s hard to make up some of the ground,” he said.

And the couples aren’t the only ones who feel shortchanged.

Frank Castellucci, a videographer, told CBS 2 that Leli owes him as well.

“Although he denies it he owes me close to or a little over ten thousand dollars,” he said.

Suffolk County’s Consumer Affairs Commissioner has launched an investigation into Leli photography. Leli is still on the job and taking on new clients.

What do you think should be done for the slighted couples? Let us know in the comments section below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. DK says:

    Carl – your email address doesn’t work, please try me again!

  2. VDCR0430 says:

    ANY CUSTOMER OF HIS PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE NEXT STEP FOR YOU, AND ALL COUPLES INVOLVED ARE DOING THIS, IS TO FILE WITH CONSUMER AFFAIRS. THIS IS THE ONLINE FORM:

    http://suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/ConsumerAffairs/OnLineForms.aspx

    FILL IT OUT AND MAIL IT IN. WHEN YOU DO THAT, AFTER THEY COLLECT TEN, THEY ARE DOING TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY WITH THIS. PLEASE DO IT FOR THE SAKE OF EVERYONE THAT BOOKED WITH HIM IN THE PAST AND ESPECIALLY FOR THE SAKE OF FUTURE BRIDES — HE IS STILL BOOKING WEDDINGS!!!! OUTRAGEOUS!

  3. MEC says:

    It is interesting that he is blaming this on the economy and lack of money but he has been using these tactics for years. Couples that were married in 2000 had the same issues with him so I guess the “economy’ has been hitting him pretty hard for a long time! If you search the NYS court system you can find a law suit back to 2004 from a wedding in Sept. 2000. Maybe it’s time he found another line of work.

  4. Hurt Bride says:

    I am another bride who still has not received my video. I got married in 2006! Gary does not return phone calls or emails. And how does his money troubles give him the right to treat people the way he does? When he actually does respond, he responds with threats and nastiness… worst part for us is that Frank the video guy mentioned in your article didn’t shoot our video, and we have no clue who did. We aren’t sure if we will ever see it. It is heartbreaking. What do we do? Take him to court? He doesn’t even pay his judgements! And his house is for sale… he is probably trying to skip town as we speak. Such a shame that if LIW did the right thing and didn’t deleted the poor reviews or if maybe they dropped him as a vendor there would be a lot less broken hearts. How is this man not in jail??

    1. MEC says:

      Looks like there is an email address below of someone who can help you.

  5. MEC says:

    In my opinion, Gary Leli has been living a good life for years on the backs of hard working couples who trusted him to preserve the memories of the most important day in their lives. Chances are his current company will fold and he will establish this same scam under another name and location. The sad part is that many of these couples used Gary Leli because he was at one time a paying vendor on Long Island Weddings forum. Because he was a paying vendor and because of his threats of law suits against LIW, he was able to have all negative comments and reviews removed from the LIW forum. That gave many couples a false sense of a reputable business and allowed dozens of couples to lose large sums of money and more importantly precious memories.

  6. Melissa says:

    I too was dupped by Lelia I was married in 2004 he did my wedding video and pictures I received my video 2 years later ( which looked like my 13 year old cousin did it) there were even important parts cut out! I just received my albums last year it took him 7 years! Shame on me to have paid him but I trusted him because I knew where he lived and I knew his wife she did my veil! I would love to join the people that are dissatisfied please let me know where I can reach them.

    1. DK says:

      You can contact me at dougkenner@gmail.com. I’ll help you.

  7. Married in NY says:

    but what I wan to know is – WHERE IS THE MONEY??? If his clients have been paying him for years, then where is the money? Why can’t he get us our videos? Never mind he made us pay him in cash. This man has been signing fraudulent contracts for years, because with each one he signs – he is basically “(robbing)peter to pay paul” as he said on Channel 2. Public records show unpaid judgements against Leli Photography and Tax Liens. BUYER BEWARE!

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