NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Thousands of dollars in party deposits are gone after a Long Island caterer seemed to have gone out of business, putting upcoming bar and bat mitzvahs in limbo.
CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports that's what New Hyde Park synagogue Temple Tikvah told customers.
Celebrants are losing hope that they'll get their money back as tens of thousands of dollars in deposits for weddings and bar mitzvahs were paid to an in-house caterer who's disappeared.
"We were horrified and stressed and upset," said Lisa Hindi. "Baffled how someone can just do that."
Hindi paid $3,500 for a deposit for the temple's caterer Dynamic Events and its owner Bobby Kanowitz for her daughter's bat mitzvah that's taking place in six weeks.
However, when she tried reaching back out to him, she found out that his phones have been disconnected and the website was taken down.
Hindi said the synagogue told her that Kanowitz severed business ties with them.
"Yes, they said he has severed his business ties with us. Tikvah said they had no contact with him anymore," explained Hindi.
The temple had no answers for CBS2, either.
At least ten of the victims have taken the case to the New York state attorney general. They want their money back and the caterer arrested.
The owner of Hart to Hart Entertainment is helping desperate families find new venues and vendors. One single mother is out $11,000.
The mom literally had four weeks, maybe a little shy of four weeks, to find a new venue," said owner Mario Simone. "Figure out financially how to make it happen."
The New York state attorney general is asking anyone else who thinks they've been scammed to contact them.
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