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CoMo Entertainment owner Ben Bradley responds to accusations

The owner of the Columbia Party Bus said he is working with the Missouri Attorney General’s office to make sure customers who were treated unfairly are refunded.

ABC 17 News reported two weeks ago that multiple people claimed to have paid for a party bus service only to have the bus no show.

The story led to an investigation by the Attorney General, which is still ongoing.

Ben Bradley, the owner of Columbia Party Bus, had a court hearing Monday morning for his other business, the Whiskey Wild Saloon.

His attorney requested an extension of time to answer to the accusations in a lawsuit between Bradley and DAC Entertainment.

ABC 17’s Jillian Fertig went to the hearing to try to track down Bradley and follow up with him about people claiming they’re still owed money.

But Bradley didn’t attend the hearing. It was just his attorney.

On October 27, Bradley told ABC 17 News that those people owed refunds would get them by the end of the week.

“If they didn’t, bring them with you and I’ll have cash for them and I’ll pay them live on the air,” he told ABC 17 News two weeks ago, after two brides claim they paid for the party bus service for their wedding and the buses never showed.

As of Monday, both brides said they’re still waiting on refunds.

ABC 17’s Jillian Fertig sent Bradley a text message Monday morning asking him if he was ready to fulfill his promise.

Bradley called and explained why he wasn’t going to pay them on the air after all.

“I got your text, so I just wanted to call you back and explain,” Bradley said. “I’m not doing anything on the air at this time because you guys set me up to do it in the appropriate manner.”

Bradley was referring to the ongoing investigation by the Missouri Attorney General’s office after multiple complaints were filed following the ABC 17 News special report.

“I didn’t hide anything from them and I’m not trying to hide anything,” Bradley said. “To my understanding, I’m just waiting on the agreement, then I’ll make the payment and it’s all over.”

ABC 17 News reached out to the AG office Monday. They said they can’t talk about an ongoing investigation, but that Bradley was cooperating with investigators so far.

While it could be good news for Columbia Party Bus customers, former employees of the Whiskey Wild Saloon, Bradley’s other business that officially closed its doors, said they’ve been left high and dry.

“Me personally, I do have a check sitting in my purse downstairs that I’m not able to cash because one, I was told the funds aren’t there and two, he never signed off on my check,” said Rynda Nichols, a former Whiskey Wild employee.

Bradley is currently in the middle of a lawsuit with Chad Martin, the former owner of Whiskey Wild. Bradley is accused of only paying part of the full purchase price to Martin.

He is also accused of selling property that belonged to Martin.

Nichols worked as a bartender and shift manager before she quit. She said not only was she not getting paid, but felt uncomfortable with what Bradley was asking employees to do.

“Ben actually came up to me one night and said ‘If you can’t see the minors’ X on their hands, just go ahead and serve them because we’re not making any money,'” Nichols told ABC 17 News.

Nichols said she refused to serve alcohol to people underage.

In an interview two weeks ago, Bradley claimed all of his employees were taken care of.

But Nichols said that’s not the case.

“It’s incredible that somebody is able to just sit there and lie the way he does,” she said.

Whiskey Wild employees also told ABC 17 News local beer distributors quit delivering beer to Bradley because he owes them more than $5,000.

Again, the Columbia Party Bus is still under investigation by the AG. ABC 17 News will report the outcome when the investigation is complete.

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