A New Hyde Park caterer is being accused by his former clients of taking thousands of dollars in deposits and closing his business without providing the promised services.
Former clients of Dynamic Events, a now-defunct catering business that specialized in bar and bat mitzvahs, are accusing the caterer of stealing their security deposits.
In December 2015, Neil Astrow said, he hired Dynamic Events, which leases space from Temple Tikvah in New Hyde Park, for his son’s bar mitzvah. He said he put down $8,000 as a deposit for the party, which was scheduled for Sept. 17.
Astrow, 47 of Bellmore, said he became worried after hearing a rumor that the catering business had closed in July. He tried contacting Dynamic Events’ owner, Bobby Kanowitz, but was unable to reach him.
Soon after, Astrow contacted Temple Tikvah and was told the caterer had gone out of business. He hired an attorney, who filed a complaint against the catering business with the Nassau County district attorney’s office.
The district attorney’s office said six complaints have been filed against Dynamic Events. The complaints were referred to the New York State attorney general’s office, spokesman Brendan Brosh said.
Doug Cohen, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said the office is aware of the complaints and “encourages others who think they may have been scammed to contact our office.” The attorney general’s office could not provide details about the complaints.
Kanowitz could not be reached by phone at multiple numbers he is listed under, and a representative for Temple Tikvah did not return calls for comment Tuesday.
The Astrows have not recovered their deposit and borrowed money from family to cover the costs of their son’s bar mitzvah, which was held last weekend at the South Huntington Jewish Center in Melville.
“Initially I was just completely shocked, but then you go through all the emotions, devastation, anger, frustration,” Astrow said. “You think there’s something you could have picked up on, but there was nothing that led me to believe that he would have done something like this.”
Lisa Hindi said Dynamic Events owes her $3,500, which she paid the catering business toward her daughter’s bat mitzvah in February.
In mid-July, Hindi learned the catering business had closed from friends on Facebook and immediately reached out to Kanowitz.
“I called him repeatedly, left messages on his work phone and never heard back from him,” said Hindi, 54, of Plainview.
Hindi also said she filed a complaint with the district attorney’s office.
“To know that this man was able to con all of us, which is basically what he did, and that he could just take our money and leave us in the hole,” Hindi said. “It destroys your faith in people a little bit.”
The deposit that Neil Astrow put down for his son’s bar mitzvah was $8,000. A previous version of this story misstated the size of the deposit.