26 Jan WRIGLEY SEEKS COURT APPROVAL FOR AGREEMENT WITH GLASSER IMAGES, LLC, JACK GLASSER, AND JACE SCHACHER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS BAN, CONSUMER RESTITUTION, AND CIVIL PENALTIES
January 26, 2023
CONTACT: Attorney General, Drew H. Wrigley 701.328.2210
Attorney General Drew Wrigley today announced that he has filed a proposed Consent Judgment with the Burleigh County District Court seeking approval of a settlement with Glasser Images, its owner Jack Glasser, and former employee Jace Schacher. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Glasser Images admits that it engaged in acts or practices constituting consumer fraud in North Dakota. The settlement bans Glasser Images, Glasser, and Schacher from owning or operating a photography business in North Dakota for at least fifteen years and requires payment of $807,188 in restitution to impacted consumers and subcontractors. The settlement also imposes a $30,000 civil penalty. Glasser and Schacher, each of whom filed bankruptcy in last August, agreed that the restitution and civil penalty would not be dischargeable in their respective bankruptcy.
In October of 2021, the Consumer Protection Division opened an investigation into Glasser Images and its sudden closure. After a six-month investigation, the Consumer Protection Division filed suit alleging that Glasser Images, Glasser, and Schacher violated North Dakota’s consumer protection laws by soliciting advance payments from consumers for wedding photography or videography, and then failing to provide the services due to financial problems that were not properly disclosed to consumers. The investigation revealed that Glasser and Schacher had wrongfully paid for personal expenditures using Glasser Images’ funds. These funds included advance payments that were entrusted to the business by consumers for their future wedding. Glasser Images’ records reflected that its financial problems predated the COVID-19 pandemic and were exacerbated by Glasser and Schacher’s use of Glasser Images’ funds for personal expenditures.
“These defendants promised important services to wedding couples who paid for photography and video services on one of the most important days of their lives and then failed to do so, causing almost incalculable distress,” said Wrigley. “The conduct and circumstances of this case and these incredibly disappointing actions merit serious sanctions, which Glasser Images, Glasser and Schacher have acknowledged and agreed to, including an injunction on business for many years and the requirement to pay restitution and civil penalties that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.”
Wrigley noted that with 540 complaints including both those for undelivered photographs and videos and those involving advance payments without any photography services provided the matter required an extensive effort by his office to reconcile each consumer complaint to determine those consumers that ultimately received delivery of products and those consumers still owed restitution for services not provided. The Consumer Protection Division also worked extensively with Glasser’s subcontractors to ensure delivery of the photographs and videos where possible, despite Glasser’s non-payment to those subcontractors.