Exclusive: Philadelphia Couple’s Dream Wedding Nearly Derailed After $20,000 Check Stolen From Collection Box

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia couple’s dream wedding set for this weekend was nearly derailed after a $20,000 check meant for a caterer never made it to the business. The U.S. Postal Service is reminding people to be on the lookout for mail theft.

Temple alums Cara Graeff and Conor Lyons are tying the knot at a big 240-person wedding in Philly on Saturday.

“We’ve been together for eight years nearly so we’ve kind of waiting a while,” Graeff said.

The most expensive check they wrote for their big day was about $20,000 to their catering company.

“It was the biggest payment we had made yet,” Graeff said.

They put the check into their neighborhood collection box at Berks and Gaul streets in Fishtown, but it never made it to the caterer.

“I [called our coordinator] at the catering company and confirmed that they have not received the payment,” Graeff said.

Instead, the almost-newlyweds believe the check was stolen from the collection box and then deposited by someone else.

“To lose that much at the 11th hour and know it hadn’t gone to where it was intended to go was really, really scary,” Graeff said.

“It’s really financially devastating and it’s not the way anyone wants to start out a marriage,” said.

The couple showed Eyewitness News a copy of the altered check.

The name of the catering company was replaced with Wiselink Media Solutions, LLC.

“Under the e in media, there’s this weird hook,” Graeff said. “And I think that’s where the g in catering was.”

Eyewitness News called a number listed for Wiselink Media Solutions and it went right to voicemail. A website that appears to be associated with Wiselink says it’s a marketing company, but it does not list any employees or link to any social media.

On the back of the deposited check, it shows someone wrote: for deposit at Bank of America only.

Bank of America wouldn’t confirm if it’s investigating the matter, but the couple’s bank, PNC, is investigating their case and they hope to have the money refunded.

Thanks to friends and family, Graeff and Lyons were able to raise the $20,000 for their caterer.

The couple says they’ll be more careful about using collection boxes.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service offers these tips to protect your mail.

Mail inside a post office or another alternative mailing location
Don’t mail in blue collection boxes after the last pickup or on Sundays
Report suspicious activity happening at any mailboxes