7 On Your Side: Celebrity event promoter owes workers big bucks

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Nina Pineda has the details on the event promoter accused of not paying her workers.

Dee Poku, founder of the WIE Network is a high powered promoter, who's used to being in front of the camera. However, when 7 on your Side found her a few months ago, she got camera shy.
Each year Poku promotes women's empowerment symposiums, the 'Wie Festival' in 2015 and "The Other Festival" last year, where prominent women share tales of their inspiration.

Last year Poku hired Leni Wolfenson of Smudge Studio to do all the "Other Festival's" printing. The festival's Facebook page features Dee with model Naomi Campbell and actress Rosario Dawson all in front of Leni's backdrops.

Leni says he did a 5 day rush job for Poku who emailed numerous changes.

"I'm in the hole $3,000," says Wolfenson.

In September of 2015, 7 on your Side told you about Renita Schnure, who planned Poku's 2014 event but she was still owed $2900 years after the event was over.

The AV rental company, BML-Blackbird said it was also out, $8,600. The owner said they hadn't received a penny from Poku.
7 on your Side called, emailed, and eventually looked for Poku twice at her Manhattan penthouse apartment.

She didn't respond. Then a few months ago, we finally found the festival founder after one of her seminars on handling finances.

That's when Nina Pineda finally got the chance to ask her some questions.

"Can you tell me how you're claiming to empower women and not paying the women who work for you? Dee you can't run from this. How are you not paying the women who work for you?" Pineda asked

Dee ducked us. But later by phone apologized for not responding and finally Leni got partial payment about $2,200/

And 2 years after our original story featuring Renita Schnure's newborn son who's now toddler, she was made whole getting nearly 3 grand.

As for Poku - she apologized - saying she always intended to pay them. Leni didn't get full payment because she said she had a problem with the finished product. And the equipment rental guys - just a week ago got 750 dollars from Poku. Hopefully the start of a monthly payment plan.

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