Monday, June 29, 2009

Crafters / Business Owners BEWARE

I advise that you cancel any transaction from Tonya Pendley of Jasper Alabama. She is a scammer. I was recently a victim to one of her many scams. At the end of this post I have included some helpful information from livelaughlovesoap on how to fight back. Something I unfortunately have to do myself.

I took the following post from I didn't get it as bad as this artist did, but I still want to spread the word about this scammer in hopes that she gets what is coming to her. And soon:

My shop on ArtFire is called CreativeCritters and in May I made my biggest sale ever, 15 items for almost $500.00. Great, right? Maybe not. After waiting for more than 2 weeks for the check to arrive I emailed Tonya Pendley of Jasper Alabama and suggested she may want to track the check down, in case it had gotten lost or stolen. She said she'd just send me another one. I did actually receive that check about a week later. I deposited it right away and planned to ship the package once the check cleared, which happened a few days later (or so I thought). So I happily ship the package, thinking all is well. Today, more than a week after the check showed up in my account, I receive a notice from my bank stating that the check was written on a closed account and the money had been taken out of my account. I was totally bummed out, of course, and posted on the ArtFire forums about what happened. Some of the artists made some very good suggestions (contact the Attorney Generals for both her state and mine, and include all documentation possible), and I did a bit of research myself. I discovered that Tonya Pendley has pulled this trick on more than one artist, and that she used to have an Etsy account. How low can you possibly go- taking advantage of (and stealing from) fellow artists?! So I'm printing up everything I can find against her and will mail it to the Attny. Generals, and possibly the FBI. My mother said they may be interested, as this occurred in several different states and they've been taking internet fraud a lot more seriously. I had to warn other artists about her though. I may never see my items or the money again, but maybe I can keep this from happening to anyone else. My husband also suggested that I post pictures of the items I sold, in case Tonya tried to sell them on eBay. I do sign my work, but if someone tried, they could probably remove the signature. Anyway, these are the items Tonya Pendley stole from me.

There's a miniature church sculpture, a log cabin sculpture, a Tudor style house sculpture, a scarecrow pen set, a Westie dog pin, a blue house sculpture, 2 Brussels Griffon dog pins, a knit stuffed cat in brown and cream, hearts in roses earrings, my World of Warcraft Tauren Hunter and his pet Lion, a red brick house sculpture, an orange and yellow striped knit cat, a brown and white knit dog, and a black and white knit cat.

Wow, looking at them all like this, makes me realize just how much this woman stole from me. I worked really hard on these pieces, and I really liked each of them. These represent 100's of hours of work. I only hope I can get something out of this. She certainly got FAR more than she deserved.

If anyone has additional information on this woman, please leave a comment for me, or contact me through my studio. And to all artists out there- BE CAREFUL! Because of this, I no longer accept checks. It would be nice if I could just trust everyone, but unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way.


Here is the advice from livelaughlovesoap:

First, send a registered letter to the offender, invoicing for the price of the item plus NSF fee. State that you will need to seek legal repercussions if an agreement is not reached and payment is not made in XX amount of time. I recommend providing two options for restitution and, whatever you do, do not accept another personal check from the offender.

Sending this letter registered guarantees that the offender receives it. Keep a hardcopy of this letter for your records.

If you do not reach an agreement with the offender to resolve their debt to you, contact your State Attorney's Office for Bad Checks. Writing bad checks is against the law and you have rights under the law to receive restitution. Writing a bad check is never "an honest mistake." It's a misdemeanor and sometimes a felony.

Once the SAO has opened a case, it will cost the offender hundreds more in court and processing fees. Additionally, the offense will be on their legal record and if they reoffend, they will not be eligible to participate in any deferrment programs. It is in their best interests to take care of this problem with you as agreeably as possible. Otherwise, they can explain their "honest mistake" to a judge.

Remember, you're a business. The world does not end with Paypal or your internet venue. Follow legal channels when appropriate to follow legal channels.

Good luck. :)


Anonymous said...

The part that puzzles me is that you tried to use caution by waiting for the check to clear. The bank cashed it, but then a week LATER says it was NSF? How does a check "clear" with NSF? I think this is where things went wrong and banks should be held responsible. I'm so sorry this happened to you, thanks for sharing and trying to protect other artists.

1337 Art said...

Thank you for posting. The story I posted didn't specifically happen to me, however, she did get me for a smaller amount. I wanted to share that particular story because so far that I've found she got it the worst.

The thing with banks that I didn't know for business accounts is they automatically "credit" your account the check balance. Then there is a 10 day window where the check can go bad. Banks neglect to inform you of this window, so when you check your account it looks like the payment cleared.

I appreciate you taking the time to read and post. I hope it doesn't happen to anyone else.

Kim said...

there is also a site for Internet fraud that I've used after someone ripped me off on ebay

Angie said...

oh no. That sounds horrible! I hope you find some justice :o)

Lady Jinx's Jewelry said...

My heart goes out to the seller. I'm sorry this happened to them.

This is also another reason I trust PayPal more, you run less a risk of this happening, or you wait as long as it takes for the check to clear, or you simply, don't do checks.

Not all checks or buyers do this, but there are some sad people out there, sadly. You have to watch our for yourself and others.

This is a wonderful informative post you made.

Thank you for posting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this warning.

I had originally come by your blog to invite you to a Giveaway of Lauren Alexander's print on my blog. I found you by browsing Lauren's followers. I feel bad now to just post an invite, don't want to be an annoying spammer...

...but if you are a fan of Lauren's work, she has generously donated one of her prints for a Giveaway on my blog, if you want to take a peek...

I hope you get all of that sorted. It's horrible that someone would do a scam like that. Your little homes are adorable. My mother-in-law collects little houses like that, so I bookmarked you for this Christmas :)

Have a nice week,

Dina Fragola said...

Wow, so sorry this happened to you.

Anonymous said...

I sold to Tonya Pendley in July of 2009 I was just informed today 11/24/2009 that her check was written on a closed bank account! Yes 5 months later and they just took out the entire $475.00 for her bad check! I have filed a police report if anyone has any information like her social security number or her IP address please email me. I have three addresses and two phone numbers as well as her birthdate. my email is
Debra Jadick
Lasting Memories Reborn Nursery


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