I-Team "Troubleshooter" reporter Diane Wilson of North Carolina's ABC affiliate WTVD-TV in the Raleigh-Durham area tried to reach out to former "Paranormal State" star Ryan Buell last week to get his side of the story on a series of recent Examiner articles regarding fraud allegations. Buell was unable to be reached for comment but his longtime friend Chip Coffey called Wilson to speak about their fans' missing money. The follow-up segment aired on Raleigh's ABC11 Eyewitness News on Tuesday.
Well-known psychic Chip Coffey was scheduled to appear alongside Ryan Buell in the "Conversations with the Dead" lecture tour but due to professional reasons, the 59-year-old bailed out of the event at the last minute. Buell's longtime friend and former "Paranormal State" cast-mate got wind of the news from a series of Examiner articles that an ABC news affiliate in North Carolina was picking up the story.
"I've been accused of throwing Ryan under the bus. I didn't throw Ryan under the bus, Ryan stepped in front of the bus and I jumped out of the way. Any smart business person would have done the same thing," Coffey said in an interview with ABC reporter Diane Wilson.
Ryan Buell has allegedly been scamming thousands of his fans by scheduling bogus events and keeping their money for the last few years. According to representatives from some of the events that Buell supposedly scheduled, they say that he never even booked the venues. Fans want answers and their money back.
Coffey has made several announcements on his Facebook page that he has nothing to do with Ryan Buell, Sergey Poberezhney, or the Paranormal Research Society. Although Coffey was scheduled to be a guest headliner with Buell, he claims he had no access to the funds. When he noticed how unorganized it was and how poorly Buell was handling things, he quickly exited.
"Venues weren't booked. Airline tickets weren't booked. I know that the last accounting I had, with regards to ticket sales for the 'Conversations with the Dead Tour' was in excess of $80,000," Coffey said.
This isn't the first time that Buell cancelled events. He cancelled shows in 2012 due to medical issues from pancreatic cancer. In 2013, Buell announced that he was ready to tour again so he began selling tickets for events in 2014. Buell cancelled the shows this year claiming that medical issues were the reason he couldn't make any public appearances. Coffey is sympathetic to Buell's ailments but he believes fans should get refunds issued.
"I'm not insensitive to the fact that Ryan is sick, I'm not. I pray for him every day. But that has nothing to do with business, pay someone to return the money, find a way to get the people their money back," Coffey said.
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