At least six formal complaints have been made about Easy Abi, which on its slick website offers everything from party planning services to graduation trips for Abiturienten or graduates of Gymnasium, the German equivalent of a university-track high school.
Reported losses total at least €128,000 and one group has been hit for more than €40,000 according to police, while it is feared more schools will only realise their loss when students turn up to balls that are not taking place.
“Suddenly there was no response to calls and e-mails,” complained 20-year-old Caroline Flower to the Berliner Kurier newspaper of her experience with the company.
The company recently took thousands of euros from students and schools in up-front payments but failed to pay the hotels where parties were supposed to take place and the hotels are refusing to throw the bashes for free, said the Tagesspiegel newspaper.
A group planning a trip to Spain has also seen its money disappear, the newspaper reported.
Although Easy Abi’s website says it has been operating for years, the Tagesspiegel reported that the firm had recently been sold to new owners, which subsequently declared bankruptcy, making the money difficult to get back.
No one answered the phone at Easy Abi on Wednesday and German media reported that its offices were shuttered.
Students have been visiting its main Kreuzberg headquarters in the last few days desperately trying to figure out what has happened. But all the ringing and knocking has been in vain – no one answers.
Schools and students are now searching for sponsors and new, cheaper spaces to hold their graduation celebrations.