San Jose florist charged with defrauding customers out of $26k

- An East San Jose florist has been charged with defrauding customers out of more than $26,000 after not providing flowers and services that had been paid for, Santa Clara County prosecutors said today.

Jasmin Rivera, 37, who owns Gigi's Florist and Events, was charged with six counts of grand theft and two unrelated fraud felony charges.

If convicted, Rivera could face incarceration, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Garner Morris.

Prosecutors say one family took out loans to pay Rivera about $10,000 to plan their daughter's quinceanera, including hiring a DJ and a limousine, which they lost when the party did not happen.

When the family asked for a refund, Rivera allegedly said, "Take me to court." Last year, another victim is said to have hired Rivera for $8,000 to provide church flowers and table and chair decorations for her wedding. Nothing was delivered the day of the wedding and the bride was only refunded $400, prosecutors said.

"Families often trust and depend on professionals to make their weddings and quinceaneras memorable," Morris said in a statement.

"The district attorney's office will hold accountable those who take criminal advantage of people who are spending hard-earned or borrowed money to celebrate these once-in-a-lifetime events," Morris said. Rivera was scheduled for arraignment this afternoon.

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