JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A growing number of brides-to-be are accusing a Jacksonville DJ of taking their money to perform at their weddings before he shut down his business, without refunds.
Many have their big days coming up in the next few months and say the entertainer they paid in advance has closed down shop and pocketed thousands of dollars.
Now, DJ Dakota Nash with Keep Up Productions is not responding to their demands for refunds.
A photographer who was working with Nash told the I-TEAM he booked at least 57 weddings before shuttering his company.
“It’s been complete silence,” bride-to-be Tayler Bresnihan told News4Jax.
She said she hired Nash play her reception and paid him more than $1,300 upfront before he disappeared.
“I have frustration for sure,” she said. “Just because we spent all this money and we did it in advance so we didn’t have to stress about it. “
She learned she wasn’t alone and started a Facebook page to connect with others in her shoes. She ended up with dozens of couples left at the altar, all claiming he shut down after he advertised a low-price wedding package special on social media. Among the alleged victims: medical workers, police officers and military members.
“If the photographer had not told me, I would’ve never even known,” said Jeni Arndt, who is getting married in Tampa.
“I think my problem is that all of us who are dealing with this, we had the intention of celebrating a day of love,” noted future bride Kaira Kelly, who hired Nash to DJ her wedding in Orlando. “We had the intention of bringing our families together just to celebrate our happiness and our futures. And I think the fact is that he’s being inconsiderate to that.”
Through the group, News4Jax has learned of dozens of couples with nearly identical complaints from Jacksonville to Daytona to Orlando to Tampa even Nashville, Tennessee.
They’re now banding together for justice.
Nash recently shut down his website and posted this message on Facebook:
“Due to financial constraints and the current economic conditions, Keep Up Productions is officially closed and no longer able to operate.”
Prior to the recent complaints, Nash had a five-star rating on dozens of reviews on WeddingWire.com, a popular review site for wedding vendors. A photographer who worked with him said he was popular and reliable at past events.
The I-TEAM also checked state records for Nash’s company and found he dissolved it on May 25th, claiming his “business is no longer viable economically.”
What happened to the money he collected is a mystery.
The complainants say they paid anywhere from $500 to 1,300 for his services.
News4Jax tried multiple times to reach Nash by phone, however, no one answered. The number is a Google Voice account. Nash deactivated his Instagram and Facebook accounts.
The I-TEAM also went to his Jacksonville apartment, but no one answered the door.
A message has also been left for him at the veterinary clinic in Jacksonville Beach where he’s believed to work.
Now, the couples left without answers or a DJ hope he’ll have to answer to police. Many filed fraud and theft reports with their local sheriff’s offices and police departments claiming he violated his own contract which clearly says “if Keep Up Productions cancels Keep Up Productions agrees to return any and all money except services already provided.”
Many have also filed complaints with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. Some have also contacted attorneys about taking legal action.
“I’m sorry I’m emotional,” said Jessica Huffman, of Clay County, who hired Nash to DJ her son’s wedding. “He could have made things better. He could’ve moved dates and done things still and made someone’s day better after months of chaos.”
“He just took it and ran and I’m hoping with all of us speaking out and getting his name out there that he’s not gonna try and run with our money and open a new business and try and do this to other people,” Arndt added.