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This is Michael Burris from Newton and/or Boston:
He’s a local con-man with offices in Boston and Cambridge who steals from people for a living. Recently he scammed a guy out of $17,500, and basically ruined his upcoming wedding. This Facebook post he made was brought to our attention by a turtle rider:
So we reached out to him, and what we discovered was one of the most insane scams we’ve ever seen.
Mike and his fiance Jenny found Michael Burris on Thumbtack, which is like an Angie’s List for contractors. It’s got a good reputation as a reliable place where you can go to found reliable contractors. Assuming that he was legit they reached out to Michael Burris, who assured them he would put together their dream wedding. His emails end with this:
Four different websites for MBD, his company. Except when you click on them they all redirect to the same landing page.
Links on the site bring you to his wedding planning, which has more links to samples of menus he has put together for alleged previous clients. Except the chef on that website doesn’t even know him.
Not the only person he’s falsely claiming works for him:
Jenny and Mike realized something was not right when Michael Burris asked for the final payment of $8,600, which was not due until the day of the wedding. He asked them for it over a month in advance so red flags went up and they began to call vendors. All of them had either never heard of him in the first place, or told them that Burris had defaulted from not putting a deposit down. Here’s an email from the tent company:
Obviously this was upsetting for Jenny and Mike. You hire a contractor so this stuff is taken care of, because you’re too busy working and planning other stuff. You pay them a lot of money for piece of mind primarily. But instead of that the customer had to take time out of his busy schedule to find out why there wasn’t a tent, only to find out that his money never made it them.
The fact that Mike and Jenny had the audacity to reach out to the tent company, instead of going through Michael Burris, prompted this INSANE email from the conman:
This is real life. An alleged wedding contractor writes emails in different font colors and sizes, while making sure to put as many question marks at the end of sentences that clearly are not questions. The nerve of this guy too – he’s chastising them for calling up vendors and finding out that he has stolen money from them. How dare they try to not get stiffed on their wedding day!!
He whined about all of the hours he allegedly put into this non-existent wedding, and about how he gave them a discount on his normal rates….
I mean, just look at this email….
Yup – he’s blaming the vendor’s for disclosing “personal” information. Like the fact that they have no idea who he is and never paid them a penny.
This email looks like it comes from a Nigerian prince scam that goes straight to your spam folder….
But Michael Burris has an office right in Boston, and his business is registered with the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office:
His entire business is one gigantic scam. He likely has never put on an event his entire life. He pays the $500 filing fee every year so his LLC looks legit, and he is somewhat shielded from litigation. But all he does is lie to people about putting on events that he knows will never happen. The key is to get the money before they realize that they’re being scammed.
It’s not enough that he stole $17,500 from them. He’s trying to squeeze the final $8,600 out of them, even though the jig is clearly up…..
And he’s threatening to take them to court, and subpoena phone conversations between the people whose money he stole, and the vendors he never paid….
He’s got a lawyer too, who also happens to be a friend and “business strategist”:
Michael Burris claimed the people he scammed with a fake wedding hurt his feelings….
He insists (IN ALL CAPS) that he won’t be going out of business or arrested despite the obvious larceny he has committed…..
He says it’s the 30th wedding he’s done…..
Translation – I scam people all the time, not just you.
Also, give him more money for vendors he never contacted…..
Wow. I’ve seen a lot of shit working at Turtleboy Sports, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this before. I can’t get over the font!!
He followed up shortly after that with this email, which he said had his resume and samples of work he’s done for other clients….
Here’s his “resume”:
So we contacted Brandeis University where he claims to be currently employed as “Retail Manager Catering Liason & Consultant,” and it turns out after contacting them that that’s a lie too. Shocking, I know.
To make the Brandeis thing seem real he posted this on Facebook, which he is pretending is an event that he put on:
In reality it’s just a bunch of blurry images of an event he likely crashed for free food and booze.
These are some of the examples he attached to that email of his previous work, including a 2010 flier for Chi-Chi’s…
A picture of himself with Tom Menino….
A flier for Carnivale in Cambridge, a flier for a kid’s birthday party…..
And fliers for Diwali and comedy shows he claims that he put on….
Except there’s no proof he put any of those one. They’re just fliers that anyone can make, and most of them are from years ago.
He doesn’t just screw over “clients” though. He also screws over “employees” who he hires and writes bad checks to….
As they stated, he seems credible because he has an office on Boylston Street. I have no idea how much it costs, but the money obviously all comes from stealing from people.
A few weeks ago he was actually arrested in Somerville on warrants for the exact same thing….
All put together he has 45 larceny charges dating back 20 years, along with a variety of other charges that were actually hard to find on the Google machine….
He has unlimited burner emails and burner phones….
Literally everything about him is a lie. This guy is like Greg Bates, Mark Prince, the Smith College chick, and Maude the Fraud on steroids.
I’m willing to bet that after publishing this blog we will have more people reach out to us who have been scammed by him. It’s insane that people can carry on like this and not end up in jail. He just goes from one person to the next, scheduling events he has no intention of putting on, collecting money, hiring workers he has no intention of paying, and then skipping town and finding someone else to scam. It’s remarkable that you can do this in this day and age and not leave behind a bread crumb trail of Google trophies.
What’s even more astonishing is how Thumbtack just lets anyone create an account like this and become verified. To test this out I just entered my information for a wedding and they sent me a list of caterers. Are they reliable? How can anyone trust this website after seeing this blog? Michael Burris took it down after this incident, but previously he had a bunch of rave reviews from “customers” all of which turned out to be him.
On top of that, Michael Burris choice of people to target appears to be politically motivated. The person he scammed this time around is an open Trump supporter. Meanwhile Michael Burris posts stuff like this….
He actually told one of his “employees” (who he ended up stiffing over as well) that he “He knew he was gonna get him when he found out he was a white Trump guy.”
This guy’s reign of terror needs to end. He should be arrested for larceny immediately, locked up, and banned from the Internet like a sex offender.
If you’ve ever been scammed by this dooshwhistle, please feel free to reach out to us via email at [email protected]