Penn Township wedding photographer settles AG lawsuit
A former wedding photographer from Penn Township will have until late 2022 to pay off $5,300 in restitution and penalties related to a lawsuit filed by the state Attorney General's Office accusing him of deceptive business practices.
State attorneys recently reached a settlement with Eric Porado, whom customers complained missed four weddings and failed to deliver photo products for two others after he took their money.
As part of the final decree — which was approved April 2 by Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Anthony Marsili — Porado, 31, is prohibited from advertising or selling photography services until he completes the payments.
One of the customers, Chad Crespy of Penn Hills, said he had to hire another photographer after making a down payment of less than $600 for Porado to shoot his Dec. 31, 2011, wedding. After the payment, Crespy said, he couldn't get a hold of Porado.
Crespy said he was pleased with the state's investigation.
“I was very surprised because, truthfully, we just wrote it off,” Crespy said about the money. “If we get it back, we get it back. That'll be a bonus, I guess.”
Porado is accountable for $3,800 in restitution for clients for the six weddings.
He will have to pay another $1,000 as a civil penalty to the state and $500 for the cost of the investigation.
After making a $100 payment in March, he is required to make monthly payments of $50, court records show. At that rate, the penalty could last until November 2022.
Porado has said that he was surprised by the lawsuit because he had been working with the Attorney General's Office on a resolution before it filed the suit in January 2013.
“I know what I was responsible for, so I just took care of it so everyone gets the money they deserve,” Porado said last week.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General said the state will collect the restitution before it collects the civil penalty and costs. The state will control the timing of the distributions, which will repay plaintiffs proportionally to the amount they are due.
For Emily Sapienza, the loss was only $100 for a photo album that she never received. Still, she said, she was among the spurned clients who pushed for an investigation into Porado to keep the complaints against him on the Internet from being swept under the rug.
“I'm glad to hear that he's at least on a payment plan,” Sapienza said.
Porado also is paying restitution in an unrelated criminal case in which he pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property and conspiracy for selling $37,000 worth of stolen jewelry to a Monroeville coin store. Court records show that he has paid $470 of the $37,672 in restitution since pleading guilty in January 2013.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Group seeks to reboot crime watch in Trafford
- Penn Township couple settles suit on 2009 flooding
- Penn-Trafford board: Employee resigned, was not fired