Jeanie DeNuzzio, the subject of a November 2007 profile in Pittsburgh City Paper, was sentenced Feb. 8 by a Beaver County judge for writing bad checks -- the latest in a series of legal problems for her.
City Paper began looking into DeNuzzio and her husband, Mark, after posts appeared on the online version of our story about "Your Fairy Godmother," a charitable program the DeNuzzios say provides wedding gowns to couples that can't afford them.
Two comments made on the story faulted the DeNuzzios for the practices of a separate business, Jeanie's Silk Florals. One poster alleged that the DeNuzzios had not delivered flowers to a wedding; another claimed to be a vendor who was still awaiting payment for goods. A subsequent post also alleged that Jeanne DeNuzzio had been in jail for writing bad checks.
In posting her own comments on the story, DeNuzzio denied those accusations. "The BAD checks itsn't [sic] me young lady," she wrote. But on Feb. 8, she was sentenced in a Beaver County courtroom to two years' probation for writing bad checks to her landlord and a local store. She was also ordered to make restitution of more than $5,000.
And while speaking to a reporter at the Feb. 8 sentencing, the DeNuzzios acknowledged that she had, in fact, been previously incarcerated for writing bad checks.
In our comments section and in separate discussions with CP, DeNuzzio claimed never to have met the person posting about her wedding. But CP has spoken to the aggrieved bride, who says she met the DeNuzzios personally to discuss her wedding plans; CP independently verified that a lawsuit was filed against Jeanie's Silk Florals by the woman, with a judgment entered against the business. And in the past year, at least two other court cases have been filed accusing DeNuzzio of failing to deliver wedding flowers they'd paid for: One case was dismissed, but in the other, a local magistrate ruled in favor of the plaintiff.
DeNuzzio has claimed repeatedly that the legal action taken against her stems from mistaken identity.
"I had a floral business awhile ago," she told CP on Feb. 8. "I gave it to my sister-in-law; she's run it into the ground." In an e-mail sent to CP in mid-January, she said her legal problems stemmed from "a family member, in law same name very distant met her ONCE...... but NOT ME!! I've been accused of being her alot."
DeNuzzio added that her legal troubles "and the gown outreach have nothing to do with each other." Indeed, City Paper is unaware of any complaints concerning "Your Fairy Godmother."