[SeMissourian.com] Overcast ~ 43°F  
River stage: 25.3 ft. Rising
Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015

Jackson wedding planner's legal woes multiply in credit card fraud case

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The legal problems of a Jackson wedding planner charged with multiple credit card fraud felonies are being compounded by lawsuits to recover deposits and a divorce action, all filed within the last month.

Michael J. Erzfeld, 40, ran Custom Events until his arrest in November. Erzfeld on Monday waived his preliminary hearing, where prosecutors would have had to present evidence showing why they believed Erzfeld is guilty. Associate Circuit Judge Gary Kamp ordered Erzfeld to return to court Jan. 26 for arraignment.

Erzfeld is accused of making purchases with credit card information obtained while he operated real estate classes. Investigators with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department have said Erzfeld would order goods either on the telephone or online and have the items delivered to a building or home that was not occupied.

When he was arrested, Erzfeld faced a single count of fraud. Four additional charges were filed Dec. 18.

In sworn statements from sheriff's deputy Heather VanGennip, Erzfeld is accused of:

* Purchasing $1,132 worth of wine from Schug Carneros Estate Winery in California that was delivered to Deerfield Lodge in Jackson. A FedEx driver took down Erzfeld's license plate number after finding Erzfeld waiting outside the locked lodge for the delivery.

* Purchasing a $3,020 champagne cooler from LaLique Boutique that was delivered to an unoccupied home on Ripken Way.

* Purchasing $2,334 worth of merchandise from Herend Store, a retailer of expensive decorative items.

* Purchasing a $782 porcelain elephant from Herend Store.

Along with the charges for credit card fraud, Erzfeld faces another felony charge of passing a bad check. That charge was filed Dec. 31, and he is scheduled to be in front of Kamp again Jan. 29 for an initial arraignment.

Since Erzfeld was originally charged in the case, six customers of Custom Events have filed lawsuits seeking to recover money paid for event planning. Five of the cases are filed in small claims court.

In addition, Erzfeld's wife, Becky Erzfeld, has filed for a divorce and for an order of protection. Becky Erzfeld has been named in some of the lawsuits from customers of the event planning business.



Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

I find it rather shocking to find out that Mr Erzfeld is married. Must have been a front.

-- Posted by cycle_ride on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 3:14 PM

Johanna, are you implying that married men don't enjoy fine wine, decorations, and porcelain elephants? Any how, Micheal was our wedding planner and exceeded our expectations - good thing we payed in cash.

-- Posted by eastmidwest on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 3:35 PM

Mike also did my wedding and did a WONDERFUL job!!! It was absolutely breathtaking!!! Thankfully, we paid with check or cash. It was also in the beginning of his career before he took the road less traveled. It is very sad that a man with so much talent has put himself in this situation.

-- Posted by momma05 on Wed, Jan 6, 2010, at 9:56 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: