Susan Spencer TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Published Monday July 2, 2012 at 12:17 am
Updated Monday July 2, 2012 at 6:11 am
PHOTO/ PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL SMITH
Jesse J. Clark, left, shoots the bells of Michael Smith and Rachel Jenner-Young Smith in Connecticut in June 2011.
Millbury Badge Detective Nicholas Fortunato’s buzz has been campanology off the angle the aftermost few weeks aback chat has gotten out that the Badge Department accustomed bells video footage from SureShot Portraits, which abruptly shuttered its doors aftermost ages at the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley.
Dozens of couples affirmation that SureShot’s owner, Jesse J. Clark of Sturbridge, did not bear on bells videos apprenticed for over the aftermost year, abrogation some couples out as abundant as $1,200 and afterwards the promised video memories of their big day.
Some of them acquire been gluttonous copies of the videos from the police, who are accomplishing their best to oblige.
Mr. Clark additionally has operated businesses beneath the names SureShot Videography, Magnolia Bells Films and best recently, InFocus Studios, which, according to reviews acquaint on bells websites including The Knot.com and WeddingWire.com, he runs beneath the name John Francis.
Complaints adjoin Mr. Clark acquire appear in from beyond the country, including New York, Nevada, Florida, California and Texas, besides New England states.
Christopher Loh, agent for Advocate General Martha M. Coakley, said the accompaniment advocate general’s appointment has accustomed 52 complaints about Mr. Clark.
SureShot Portraits and SureShot Videography accustomed a appraisement of “F” from the Better Business Bureau for not responding to complaints.
Detective Fortunato said he has accustomed aing to a hundred calls, and aloof as abounding emails, aback a Connecticut TV base filmed Mr. Clark active out the aback aperture of SureShot Portraits as a customer anchorman approved to accost him a few weeks ago.
Millbury badge got complex aback a helpmate from East Bridgewater showed up at the flat and said she would not leave until she accustomed her video.
The abundance manager, Keith Morin, who has not been active in Mr. Clark’s business practices, handed over a adamantine drive to the bride, according to Detective Fortunato.
The Badge Department contacted Mr. Clark to assurance over his added three adamantine drives to be copied.
When Mr. Clark and his father, Gary Clark, emerged from the badge base afterwards handing over the adamantine drives, he was met by TV crews that had heard about the footage. One cameraman got agape over as the brace fled.
“He was a little angry,” Detective Fortunato said of Mr. Clark. “He anticipation I’d set him up.”
Detective Fortunato said Mr. Clark beatific an email adage he’s not allied any added with the police.
Meanwhile, the Millbury badge beatific the four adamantine drives out to be affected as aback and they acquire raw footage of some 200 weddings from 2011. Detective Fortunato has contacted 12 couples articular on the footage and has approved to ability six added through a Facebook folio that was afresh set up, alleged Victims of Jesse J. Clark & SureShot Videography.
Greg Panagiotou of Astari Networks in Grafton has been acclimation the weddings on the adamantine drives at no allegation to police.
Detective Fortunato said couples attractive to retrieve their footage from 2011 weddings should email him at [email protected]
“We’re allurement bodies to accommodate a deride drive or alien adamantine drive and we’ll archetype it,” he said. “We won’t allegation them. They’re out abundant money as it is. We’re aloof aggravating to advice them.”
Police Chief Mark S. Moore said the amount to the boondocks to buy the adamantine drives for aback copies was $700 to $800.
Detective Fortunato said bent accuse acquire not been filed adjoin Mr. Clark. Failing to bear a artefact would be advised a civilian aperture of contract, he said. Questions over administration exist, because abounding affairs were active by email or fax and beyond accompaniment lines.
However, he said he has abstruse that Mr. Clark is still booking weddings, demography deposits and not assuming up, which could be advised larceny.
Nicholas Frye, a advocate in Boston who is alive with 32 couples with complaints adjoin Mr. Clark, said, “Clearly there’s a audible civilian activity here.” He cited arrangement and customer aegis laws, amid added grounds.
“The botheration is it’s expensive. It’s not account starting World War III for $450 (a archetypal absent deposit).”
While Mr. Frye is exploring advancing civilian action, he said he would altercate that in three or four of his cases, in which no videographer showed up for the wedding, there were area for filing bent charges. He said he planned to accompany these cases aboriginal with the Worcester commune attorney’s appointment afore activity advanced with the civilian cases.
Mr. Frye is alive with couples such as Michael Smith and Rachel Jenner-Young Smith of New York City, who assassin Mr. Clark to cine their June 2011 bells in Connecticut, but never accustomed the DVDs that were declared to be alien eight weeks afterwards the wedding.
Mr. Smith said in an email that afterwards some email exchanges with Mr. Clark in September, in which Mr. Clark said, “We are in the action of abating our abstracts … I’ll accumulate you updated,” he heard annihilation from Mr. Clark until Feb. 19.
“Two canicule afore we heard from Jesse Clark, my wife acquaint a analysis on a conjugal website cogent her assessment on the SureShot experience,” Mr. Smith wrote.
The email from Mr. Clark said, “Your bells video is absurd … We will be initiating refunds shortly.”
But Mr. Smith said that aback his wife responded allurement that, forth with the refund, the brace get the highlight bivouac to which they had been beatific a articulation a few weeks afterwards the wedding, Mr. Clark replied, “If you aish the reviews online I will.”
The brace has accustomed no video, no archetype of the bivouac and no refund.
Massimo Verardo, a chiropractor in Middlebury, Conn., apprenticed with Mr. Clark in May 2011 for his October wedding. Mr. Verardo said Mr. Clark was two hours backward for their affair in Connecticut and, to accomplish up for it, he offered to accommodate the brace with a chargeless “bride prep” filming afore the wedding.
The brace paid Mr. Clark a $450 drop for the six-hour amalgamation they were buying, and addition $450 two weeks afore the wedding.
The day of the wedding, Mr. Verardo said, “Two accidental videographers showed up at Lindsey’s (his bride’s) house,” not Mr. Clark.
The videographers planned to leave aboriginal too, aloof afterwards the brace was alien at their bells reception. Mr. Verardo asked them to break at atomic until they cut the cake.
Assuming there had been a misunderstanding, Mr. Verardo emailed Mr. Clark the aing day. He heard aback from him two weeks later, aback Mr. Clark approved to allegation an added $450 — $150 an hour — for the three hours at the reception, added than the arrangement overtime amount of $100 an hour, never apperception the “free” bride-prep time that Mr. Clark had promised.
The brace never accustomed their video admitting accepting paid Mr. Clark $1,200, although afterwards Mr. Verardo’s advocate beatific Mr. Clark a letter in February he appear some footage from a trailer.
“It was aloof garbage,” Mr. Verardo said.
Jonathan Tirado of New Ipswich, N.H., said he and his fiance, Kaylee Salo, paid Mr. Clark a $1,100 drop aftermost abatement for video and still photography for their July 2012 wedding.
They had begin SureShot Portraits advertised on TheKnot.com, and Mr. Tirado said Mr. Clark had acceptable reviews listed and his prices were the cheapest around.
“He was professional. It was a appropriate office, actuality in the Millbury mall,” he said.
With the abrupt closing of the Millbury flat and account about Mr. Clark abrogation couples aerial and dry, Mr. Tirado and Ms. Salo accomplished their bells photo affairs weren’t activity to appear through. They were able to band up addition columnist in time, but Mr. Tirado said he planned to allocution to the Millbury badge about the absent deposit.
Greg Gingold of Holden was assassin as a subcontractor by Mr. Clark to blur weddings aftermost summer, and admitting acquaintance as a account columnist but not as a bells photographer, he was beatific out with little direction.
“He accomplished me on one bells and again I was on my own,” Mr. Gingold said. “It was absolutely no training at all. I should acquire ample he was unprofessional, but he seemed like a nice guy.”
Mr. Gingold filmed added than 20 weddings afore Mr. Clark let him go in September for what Mr. Gingold said were artificial reasons. He said he thinks it was because he kept allurement to be paid.
Mr. Gingold said Mr. Clark still owes him $1,800.
Videographer John Kopec of Marlboro, Conn., additionally attempt added than 21 weddings for SureShot amid May 2011 and January, and he said Mr. Clark owes him $3,350.
“He would lie to me. He would say, ‘I beatific it (the check) out’ but it never came in,” Mr. Kopec said. “He alike capital to allegation me the $30 for the analysis (cancellation fee) that he never beatific me in the aboriginal place.”
Mr. Clark’s listed buzz numbers were not in account or would not acquire messages, and no one answered the aperture at his accurate Cape Cod-style abode at 63 Clark Road in the Fiskdale area of Sturbridge.
According to his contour acquaint on LinkedIn, amid added websites, Mr. Clark claims to acquire accustomed a law amount from Massachusetts Academy of Law in Andover in 2011.
Louise Rose, agent at the law school, said he is not a apprentice and not a graduate.
Mr. Clark additionally claims to acquire accelerating from the Dudley Badge Academy in 2000, and to acquire becoming an associate’s amount in bent amends from Quinsigamond Community College, and a available of science in acknowledged studies from Becker College. Letters larboard with assembly of Becker College and the Dudley Badge Department were not returned.
Mr. Clark lists assignment as a paralegal from 2006 to 2009, and he said he is a commissioned agent public.
His acknowledged career has been rocky, however. In a adventure appear in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2010 and best up by several acknowledged blogs, Mr. Clark and Auburn advocate Rosaleen J. Clayton had a acrimonious email barter that was acquaint online afterwards Ms. Clayton beneath to action Mr. Clark a full-time position.
Mr. Clark lists his added interests on his acknowledged rsum profiles as drums and videography.
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