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State sues concert promoter for withholding refunds after cancelled festival

A Buffalo music promoter has been sued by the state Attorney General's Office for failing to refund customers for a cancelled festival.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Wednesday announced a lawsuit against Cody Conway and his company, Buffalove Music Festival. Conway promoted the Buffalove Music Festival 2017 that was supposed to occur July 20 to July 23 in Franklinville.

The complaint claims Conway cancelled the festival on June 5 but failed to offer refunds within 90 days as promised. In total, 146 New Yorkers purchased tickets from Conway for a combined $14,896.42 including service fees, with tickets ranging from $85 to $125 a piece, according to the complaint.

"New Yorkers should get what they pay for – and they’re entitled to timely refunds if event organizers don’t follow through on their promises," Schneiderman said. "My office won't tolerate scammers who trick hardworking consumers into forking over cash for performances they'll never see."

After receiving complaints, the Attorney General's Office launched an investigation. The investigation found that Conway cancelled the festival on June 5, and although he promised to provide refunds within 90 days, he failed to do so.

Conway could not be reached for comment.

The Attorney General's Office learned that Ticketfly, a site through which Conway sold tickets, made a payment totaling $13,305 to Conway for the tickets purchased on its site and expected him to refund the ticket-buyers. When Conway failed to do so, Ticketfly provided the refunds to consumers who purchased tickets through its site. However, some would-be concertgoers may have made payments directly to Conway – and therefore did not receive refunds. In particular, Conway still owes one customer $1,000 for a cabin rental during the weekend of the festival.

During the investigation, the Attorney General's Office served Conway with a subpoena, requiring that he produce records of the ticket sales and have his sworn statement taken. Conway's failure to cooperate with the investigation led to the lawsuit, the office said.

The lawsuit also seeks to prohibit Conway from promoting concerts or engaging in any business in New York State until he pays full restitution, penalties and costs.

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