Wedding Videographer Tells Man With Dead Fiancée: 'Life Is a B***h' and 'We Hope You Cry for What Would Have Been Your Wedding Day'

Wedding Videographer Tells Man With Dead Fiancée: 'Life Is a B***h' and 'We Hope You Cry for What Would Have Been Your Wedding Day'

In what might be the most extreme story I have ever seen involving a photography business, a wedding videographer told a man whose fiancée died a car crash before the wedding "life is a b***h" and "we hope you sob and cry all day for what would have been your wedding day" after he requested a refund.

Justin Montney was due to marry his fiancée in May of this year, when she was tragically killed in a car crash in February. He requested a refund from his wedding videographer, Copper Stallion Media, but things quickly went downhill after a brief exchange of emails.

The story blew up when the company made a (now deleted) Facebook post with a link to the couple's wedding website and text that said:

Today would have been the day where we would have filmed Justin and Alexis' wedding in Colorado Springs. After what Justin pulled with the media stunt to try and shake us down for a refund, we hope you sob and cry all day for what would have been your wedding day. Sorry not sorry.

Meanwhile, Copper Stallion Media bought two domains, justinmontneywedding.com and justinmontney.com and continues to post emails related to the saga, voicemails, media coverage, and more, saying:

Justin Montney then contacted the failing news station, KRDO in Colorado Springs, CO to tell his story. In the news story he admits that the contract was non-refundable but says we should give the money back due to the circumstance. Life is a bitch, Justin.

We understand a death occurred, but it's not right for people to turn to the internet and sodomize the reputation of a company. This is malice and the intent was to do harm. We know Justin is still young and in his 20s but this was wrong. He could have quietly filed a small claim to 'try' to recoup the non-refundable deposit. Instead, he chose the internet to shake us down. 

This website is registered with us for the next two years.

Let this is a precedent for anyone looking to bash their wedding vendor. Justin Montney said "presence will be taking place on social media." Well, here it is, Justin. 

The site claims that the emails shown constitute the complete set of exchanges between Montney and Copper Stallion Media, with just four emails shown. In the initial email, Montney notifies the company of the death of his fiancée and requests a refund. The company then replies with condolences and says that per the contract, the fee is nonrefundable. Montney replies a few hours later, saying:

Well then I would like to push my reservation for 10 years from now in case I ever get married! That or I could have a refund and I can even send you a picture of the death certificate. I would either like to still receive the services I am forced to pay for with the death of a party on the contract, OR a refund.

All the other arrangements were understanding durring this tragitity. [sic] Please let me know what options I have going forward.

Thank you.

After no further exchanges for three months, Montney replies again, indicating that he will be taking to social media to obtain his "legal refund." 

Digging deeper, the story gets even more bizarre. Denver 7 says Montney reached out to the news station after Copper Stallion Media threatened to sue him for the review he left the company on its (now removed) The Knot page. A videographer who worked with the company before said he left because they refused to pay him, as did several Reddit commenters.

The videographer mentioned in the Denver 7 story says his final paycheck came from a company called Organized Weddings LLC, which is registered to a man named Jesse Clark. In 2013, Clark was accused of scamming over 90 couples out of money for undelivered wedding videos and has been sued multiple times. He has operated multiple wedding videography businesses in the past under various names and aliases.

Meanwhile, in January 2013, a judge forbade Clark and an employee from engaging in any videography or wedding services or accepting any deposits for business purposes, though it isn't clear when that injunction was lifted. Middlesex County Attorney General Martha Coakley froze his assets and sought $75,000 in restitution for undelivered work that same year, some of which appeared on the website as promotional material for Wedding Filmology, Clark's fifth videography business. 

It's not clear at this point if either side intends to move forward with a lawsuit. 

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32 Comments

Jack Alexander's picture

Messy. But regardless of who's in the right, there's never a need to speak to anyone like that, deceased fiancee or not.

JetCity Ninja's picture

America, something is seriously wrong with us and it’s long overdue we address this.

This has nothing to do with politics or beliefs or mental illness and has everything to do with our decline in empathy, morality, humanity and compassion.

Maybe we need to place a moratorium on simple assaults and battery so people like this can receive the punch in the face they so desperately deserve. It continues because there are no immediate repercussions. If you knew you’d have to walk around for a few weeks with raccoon eyes or lose a few teeth for being an asshole, far fewer would be an asshole.

Not sure why this is an indictment of 'America'. There are assholes in every culture. It is part of the human condition.

The fish smells from the head...

I agree with the first two paragraphs completely.

> Laments about a decline in empathy, morality, humanity and compassion
> Endorses and encourages acts of violence

This is you, America.

Here's where this idiotic videographer went wrong:

1. Publicly humiliating a groom who's bride was tragically killed is not only cruel, it's a horrible business decision. What bride wants to work with a sociopath?

2. Strict adherence to a contract is not always the right course of action. Sometimes you have to empathize with your clients and bend the rules due to unusual circumstances.

3. The bad publicity from this is going to kill this business.

My prediction: He's going to rebrand under a new name and continue being a shitty human/business person and learn nothing from it.

Lee Whitman's picture

Agreed. Good God. Even if I had an iron-clad contract with someone, I'd let them break it if their bride died. Arguing with a videographer over a cancelled wedding isn't something this guy should have to go through.

It look like you are right. Whenever some like this happens to him he simply opens up a new business. He was done this in the past and owned SureShot Photography/Videography, InFocus Studios, and Magnolia Wedding Films. He also goes by different names like John Francis. So he will probably just open up another business and continue to scam people. Update Jesse J. Clark is also the owner of Kustom Films and went by the alias Corey Ayers and many others. It looks like this man has been scamming people for years now. All the companies are on yelp and are 1 star companies.

Chris Sampson's picture

He's been ripping off more than the wedding clients. He's ripping off videographers and photographers and FStoppers should expose him for that reason. He's a detriment to the wedding photog/video biz.

The more I find out about this guy the crazier he gets. For example i was looking at his linked in pages and he claims to have gone to Yale, Harvard, and MIT. Also he is the CEO of at least 7 different companies. Personally i think he is lying about is education.

Chris Sampson's picture

more than that...I have an entire sheet of his fronts and the related LLC materials.
I'm going to expose this guy until he goes to jail. His "Yale, Harvard, MIT" claims are based on 3mos programs where you get a certificate for $1400-1800 each. I watched his video on AI and he has no idea what he's talking about. His name should be changed to Dunning-Kruger

I sure hope he goes to jail.

Scott Spellman's picture

I also have non-refundable deposits but have always chosen to refund when asked. It is often a far better business choice. Empathy maters. The responses from the video company indicate are disturbing, and will never lead to a happy outcome.

Tony Clark's picture

I have a nonrefundable retainer in my contracts but I try to understand my clients situation. At first, I thought that a 50% refund might be appropriate but then I read about the videographers history. Not only is the guy a conman, but he crossed the line with his responses to the groom. Let's hope that the guy is tracked down and receives his due.

Wow. These aholes have managed to simultaneously make this poor guy’s worst life experience a little bit worse, and destroy their own business. Hope they enjoy the $1800.

vik .'s picture

Best thing to do sometimes is not to speak at all, especially when you don't have the money anymore and you're protected by a contract.

Chris Sampson's picture

For the record, FStoppers already wrote about this scam artist, Jesse Clarke in the past:
https://fstoppers.com/wedding/lawsuit-filed-against-videography-company-...

He was sued by the AG of Massachusetts and prohibited from taking deposits on future work after bilking people out of their funds in 2013.

Not the sort of person you would want associated with your memories, happy or sad.

Darren Loveland's picture

What a shame. This guys is definitely in the business of scamming people and then just packing up shop/rebranding when he's caught. Hopefully it comes around.

What in fresh hell....?

charlie sanders's picture

Small claims court, I’m sure the judge will your side once you provide your contract, and a timeline of events. A contract can be disputed/scrutinized by a judge.

Whenever some like this happens to him he simply opens up a new business. He was done this in the past and owned SureShot Photography/Videography, InFocus Studios, and Magnolia Wedding Films. He also goes by different names like John Francis. So he will probably just open up another business and continue to scam people. Update Jesse J. Clark is also the owner of Kustom Films and went by the alias Corey Ayers and many others. It looks like this man has been scamming people for years now. All the companies are on yelp and are 1 star companies.

The fact of the matter is that the (alleged) videographer had all legal rights to keep the reservation deposit, (depending on the precise wording of the contract), and the groom had no legal recourse in small claims court. The proper response is, “the non-refundable deposit was to reserve a specific date/time for your event, and prevent anyone else from taking that time-slot. the deposit was not for shooting your wedding.”

…Immediately followed by, “however, we understand your current situation. With our condolences, we would like to offer you….”

Chris Sampson's picture

Karim,...
Are you aware of who we're talking about? Do you know who Jesse John Francis Clark is?
He's a serial scammer who has been stealing from people for a decade.
This story is no longer about "keeping deposits"
FStoppers owes it to their readers to do a full article on him and I'm more than willing to help since I have a full 20pg fact sheet on his activities of the last 10 years.
This is not a normal dispute over deposit.

I was NOT discussing the man. I was discussing what an otherwise living, breathing, humanoid (or not) being would do, in light of what the client said/believed, DESPITE most of us photographers having a non-refundable reservation clause in our contracts.

The client made a claim that he is entitled for a refund since the service was never performed, or that he would like to use the money to reserve a different date. It does not work that way, but, an otherwise normal being with a pulse would have shown compassion.

Therefore, my statement stands. Contrary to what the client thinks, they are NOT entitled to a refund, but they can still get one, “because, human.”

P.s., I am aware of this… thing's past, but the statement was not a judgement on past behaviour. If this was the fist time or the 10,000th time, it does not matter. The statement was based on the current situation. The thing is still despicable, but not just because of his past. This episode alone is more than enough.

[EDIT] Also, Fstoppers did do an article on him before. [/EDIT]

Chris Sampson's picture

So when you literally comment on an article about a conartist scammer, you want to still lecture about what "clients" should expect? I think we have more than enough of that discussion available around FStoppers...I read it all the time.
This isn't that topic...this is about a scammer who is lurking in our photo/video community and that is all this is about.
It is like arguing Jeffrey Dahmer should have put baking soda in his fridge because that's what the best method for storage is...

AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHH!!!!! If your takeaway from what I said, is a, "lecture about what "clients" should expect," then you need to re-read a few times.

Let me break it down for you.

We do not give clients a refund because they are legally entitled to it. We give them a refund because we have a heart.

Thank you for YOUR lecture.

[EDIT]
The article is about what a con-artist scammer did to a specific man, and that specific man's response. My post perfectly addressed the article.
[/EDIT]

Jim Bolen's picture

Wow, what a giant DB. Yeah, he deserves more than a throat punch, for sure. Hope that something can stick and he gets locked up for a while.

When I read the story, the image of this pos popped up in my head as Pharma Bro.

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