Race rip-off: Registrants allege fraud against racing company

- In just a few days, The Great Chocolate Race is supposed to take over Uptown Charlotte, but one registrant is concerned because she hasn’t heard anything from the race coordinator.

“A week before the race, [and] I still haven't gotten any kind of information,” said runner Crystal Heis, “and of course they have to send you logistics about where to park, exactly where the race is because all it said was uptown.”

Heis’ calls and emails so far have gone unanswered.

“So I emailed them back,” she said, “and this time the email came back undeliverable. I went to the website and the website looked basically shut down [...] That's when I decided to call FOX 46 to see if y'all could dig into this a little bit.”

So we worked to get results. Online, we found these complaints:

From Washington DC

"This company is a scam. They cancelled a race three days before the event due to their own planning faults, and refused to refund the money."

From California

"This organization is a scam!! they have defrauded the public."

Out of Virginia

"They cancelled the Arlington race two days before the event due to lack of permits."

Heis says she hasn't received confirmation that the race is actually taking place, and she's worried that what happened to other cities is going to happen here in Charlotte.

We checked with the City of Charlotte. Crucible racing, the company in charge of the race, paid their application fee in August; they only have to submit their insurance to the city.

We called the number listed on the company’s website, and followed up, emailing the address listed on the website. No one answered our call and the email bounced back.

“People could be spending $50-$100 plus dollars on entries,” Heis said, “so if there's a couple hundred people in Charlotte, you're talking thousands of dollars.”

A worker with the city told FOX 46 he saw an email from the event coordinator that said his business no longer existed. That email was sent to CMPD, but when we asked the department for confirmation, a CMPD media rep told us, “I have not been made aware of an email.”

The Better Business Bureau has 19 complaints filed against Crucible Racing; none yet from consumers in Charlotte.

The BBB gave them an “F” rating, stating they couldn’t get a hold of the company.

Count on FOX 46 to follow this story and get results for the people who registered.

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