Disney show promoter could face criminal charges, assistant DA says
Promoter Frank Salazar could face criminal charges if he doesn't refund customers for the "Hollywood Teen Stars" show, according to a law enforcement official.
Salazar canceled the show Wednesday. It had been rescheduled for Saturday.
The possible charges fall under the deceptive business practices and theft.
"Customers could have a very good case based on his non-performance," said Luther Easley, assistant district attorney for the Victoria County District Attorney's Office.
Easley said the ticket is a contract, but Salazar reserved the right to change the artists, as stated on the tickets.
The promoter has a certain amount of time to reimburse patrons, but he was not exactly clear the length of time, Easley said. The ticket serves as a receipt.
Salazar, 44, said he would refund the tickets, but did not say when.
Some customers said they have attempted unsuccessfully to reach Salazar for a refund.
When reached late Saturday, Salazar said he hopes to refund the money in the next couple of days, but did not say when.
"I just want to give the people a refund. I don't have bad intentions or want to keep anything that is not mine," he wrote in a text message.
Easley said this was not a clear-cut case, especially if Salazar decides to have a show at a later date.
"There are always other avenues, and that's the problem," said Easley.
Because the tickets were purchased in the city, people wishing to file a complaint against Salazar should contact the Victoria Police Department, saying they were misled by the promoter, Easley said.
People also could file a civil suit.
Another avenue consumers could take is filing a complaint of deceptive trade practices with the Texas Attorney General's office.
The AG's office advises people to retain as much evidence of wrongdoing as possible, including brochures, advertisements, records of related transactions and notes about conversations.
Salazar said in an interview earlier last week that he wasn't going to promote any more events. He also said the show involving the Disney characters was canceled in Victoria and would not be rescheduled.
A similar show that Salazar said he promoted in Laredo is still being advertised at the Laredo Energy Arena with the A.N.T. Farm stars China McClain, and her sisters Lauryn and Sierra McClain, Carlon Jeffrey, Stefanie Scott, Allie DeBerry and Caroline Sunshine.
The Laredo show was originally scheduled to occur Sunday, but was rescheduled to Aug. 18.
Xavier Villalon, arena general manager, confirmed the "Summer Teen Jam" is an official venue event and is not associated with Salazar. But the Victoria promoter helped initially make the offer to come to the region more appealing for the artists.
"If you have something months later, it's like canceling it," Villalon said about why the venue tried to reschedule the show right away.
He said that it was best to have the show soon after the original date to keep the customers' interest.
Salazar said in the earlier phone interview he's never deceived anyone in his 20 years of business.
Alan Bligh, regional director with the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi, said neither Salazar nor Salazar Productions has had any complaints filed against them with the office.
"We would invite consumers who do not get their refund to file a complaint with us at bbb.org.
If refunds are not issued that fact should be put into a report to consumers, but we must have the complaints to do that," he said.