ABC news reporter Diane Wilson announced on Friday that she will be investigating claims of fraud by former "Paranormal State" reality television star Ryan Buell. Chip Coffey posted on his Facebook page today that he did not have access to any of the funds collected by Buell.
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.
Popular psychic-medium and former "Paranormal State" cast-mate Chip Coffey went to his Facebook earlier this morning to announce that he has nothing to do with Ryan Buell, Sergey Poberezhney, or their group the Paranormal Research Society.
It has come to my attention that the ABC television affiliate in the Raleigh/Durham area of NC is doing an investigative segment on Ryan Buell. Once again, I want to publicly state that I did not and do not have access to any funds collected by Ryan, Sergey Poberezhney or PRS for events, classes, etc. it is my sincere hope that everyone who is owed a refund will receive one very soon.
Coffey later went into more detail about why he chose to distance himself from Buell and PRS.
Earlier today, I posted here on FB regarding an investigative piece about Ryan Buell that is scheduled to air tomorrow on the ABC affiliate in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area. The comments that were made about my post - over 600 of them - were quite passionate, indicating to me that people have strong feelings about this matter. I have since removed that post and I am replacing it with this one.
As many of you know, I was slated to go on tour with Ryan earlier this year, but withdrew from the tour for personal and professional reasons. The tour was being produced by Ryan, Sergey and PRS, NOT by agents, managers, producers or outsourced event coordinators. The A&E network had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the tour. Because of major problems with the tour that were completely out of my control, I had no choice but to make an exit.
MANY people are understandably upset because they have paid for tickets to events that have not taken place and/or paid for classes that have not been given. We are not talking about a small amount of money here. We are talking about MANY thousands of dollars.
Like a lot of you, I have been told that Ryan is suffering from pancreatic cancer and my heart aches for him. I pray for him every day. But that being said, business is business. If someone pays for goods or services that are not delivered, they are owed a refund of the money that was paid. Some people claim that they have been waiting for - and demanding - refunds for a very long time.
I have heard that legal actions are underway, both in the USA and in Canada. Reputations and lives are being ruined. It has become a HUGE mess and a sordid scandal. And that it is very sad...
A couple of articles that were written about this situation stated that I have "thrown Ryan under the bus." That is certainly not what I ever intended to do. On a personal level, I care deeply for Ryan and Sergey. What I HAVE done is professional (and legal) damage control because I certainly do not want my reputation to be unfairly sullied by this debacle.
It seems to me that the simplest solution would have been to process refunds to those who paid for events and services that were not delivered, but since that did not happen, I expect that this fiasco is far from over.
I greatly appreciate the understanding, kindness and support that I have received from my family, friends and fans.
Coffey announced publicly for a third time this summer that he is not involved in the transactions from any of the events that Buell scheduled this year. He was supposed to appear alongside Buell for a 6-city lecture tour from April 25 through May 6. Coffey backed out of the event and former "Paranormal State" cast member Michelle Belanger replaced him. After Coffey backed out, the tour was ultimately canceled and rescheduled for this summer with Belanger added to the bill. Belanger ended up pulling out too which lead to Buell ax the event altogether.
When angry fans started to demand refunds, Buell's Facebook page was flooded with messages and comments from people demanding answers on what was going on. Coffey was getting the heat too and on July 7 he posted a message on his Facebook page distancing himself from Buell.
Numerous individuals have reached out to me regarding a recent article on Examiner.com about Ryan Buell. My only comment is this: It is my sincere hope that those who are seeking refunds for tickets or classes purchased will receive those refunds very soon. Although I was slated to go on the Conversations with the Dead tour alongside Ryan, I chose to withdraw from the tour for personal and professional reasons. As previously stated, I was never in possession of any funds collected for ticket sales for that tour Additionally, I have not, for several years, been involved in or associated with other tours, classes, etc. offered by Ryan and/or PRS, other than two events that did occur as planned in Raleigh, NC last year
Coffey also revealed on his Facebook page that Buell owes his fans thousands of dollars in refunds and he insists that has nothing to do with it.
"The only details that truly matter are this: people are seeking refunds and not getting them. Six figures!"
Investigative reporter and "Troubleshooter" Diane Wilson of Raleigh's ABC 11 Eyewitness News will have more on this story on Monday at 5 pm.
Ryan Buell and PRS are currently under investigation. To file a report, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can be reached toll-free at 1-888-495-8501 or a report can be submitted online through a form on their website. Additionally the United States Federal Trade Commission can be reached at 1-877-FTC-HELP or a report can be filed online via their website. To contact fraud investigators at the Wake County Sheriff's Office in Raleigh, North Carolina, call 919-856-6900 and ask to be connected to someone in the Fraud Unit. The Raleigh Police Department encourages people that have paid for events and haven't received refunds to call and make a police report at 919-996-3335.
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