So-called party planner accused of scamming families out of thousands of dollars in OC, LA counties

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- A man was under arrest on Wednesday, accused of scamming people out of thousands of dollars as an event planner.

Alma and Amari Velasquez held up photos from their wedding day - the special day that almost didn't happen.

"The night before our wedding, my parents found out that nothing was paid for," said Alma.

The $14,000 they gave to Byron Sanchez was nowhere to be found. They scrambled and paid the venue all over again.

Sanchez, who is under arrest, is accused of scamming several families in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

"My understanding is that he would ask for full payment before the event was complete, and he also started asking for payment about a year in advance," said Kristina Ham of the Anaheim Police Department.

Police said Sanchez placed flyers in boutiques and on Facebook, and even brought potential customers to an event space in Anaheim.

After receiving most or all of the payment, he would disappear, Anaheim police said.

Cielo Torres, 14, worked with Sanchez to plan her dream quinceanera, scheduled for Aug. 5.

Now, her mother is working extra shifts in hopes of making back the $10,000 they gave to Sanchez.

Police believe there are more victims and are asking them to come forward.

If you believe you may have been a victim, you're asked to call Orange County CrimeStoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
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