Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Woman arrested for wedding chapel hoodwink
The former chapel owner took deposits before closing down and shipping out.
FLOWER MOUND Janice Falkenstein, who closed down her wedding chapel business in Flower Mound last year and was accused of taking customers’ money with her, was arrested Monday in connection to the incident.
Last week, a Denton County grand jury indicted Falkenstein, the former owner of Chapelle des Fleurs, with one count of misapplication of fiduciary property over $200,000, in this case, taking deposits and reapplying it for something else, which is a first degree felony.
Jamie Beck, assistant district attorney, said there were 31 victims and that the total loss was about $214,000.
According to one of the victims, several families, and businesses that had reserved a date to use Chapelle des Fleurs for an event received emails from Falkenstein on August 29 stating that the company had closed down.
According to police records, many of the couples who had planned to have their weddings at the facility reported to the police that their deposits had not been returned.
Flower Mound police turned the investigation over to the district attorney’s office, which spent the next few months reviewing all of the reports.
Beck said the case has been assigned to one of the courts and that Falkenstein will likely be arraigned in three to four weeks. Several court appearances will follow before an actual trial or an opportunity for a plea bargain.
If convicted, Falkenstein could face prison time of anywhere from five years to 99 years or life and a fine up to $10,000.
Beck said Falkenstein is eligible for probation, which could be up to 10 years. Falkenstein could also receive preferred adjudication.
Since the business’ closure, event planner Bridget Black and building owners Cliff and Sheila Hodge teamed up to open a similar business at the facility. The new business, called Le Beaux Chateau, provided a wedding for the affected couples at a reduced price.
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