Vendors speak out against former owner of AZ Market Place

Vendors speak out against former owner of AZ Market Place

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Yuma, AZ - Many vendors who once rented space at the Arizona Market place say they are relieved to hear Daniel Dinwiddie the former owner is behind bars. However many of them choose to remain anonymous. 

"He threaten quite a few people including myself," says a former client of Dinwiddie's. 

The vendor and former client of Dinwiddie's is just one of many who rented space at the Arizona Market Place choosing to keep their identity under wrap.  He says he rented for ten seasons and it wasn't always bad.  

"When this market opened it was a great thing for people to come to set up and stay set up," says the former client. 

The former client says things changed when Dinwiddie became the sole owner of the AZ Market Place in 2009 after winning a law suit over the swap meet and buying out the partners.   

 "He tried to get a co-op going and that's what messed him up. He wanted to sell spots to the people like a condominium. You would buy your own space," says the former client.  

The former client says this was very expensive for the vendors costing nearly $17,000 per space or more.     

"He wanted to charge people $20,000 a spot . He went after the best spots in the market which put the vendors in a bad position. They would think if I don't give this thug the money then I'm going to lose my spot and that's when people started to give him money," says Kenny Paine who rented space for his pampered pets business.  

Paine says many vendors were forced to leave because they couldn't afford to stay.  "I watched 50% of the Market leave , and that's a lot of money to a lot of people," says Paine. 

Police say they began investigating Dinwiddie's business practices in April of 2012.  Police say the investigation revealed that Dinwiiddie was accepting rent deposits from vendors for the next season even though he already set motion to close the business.

Many vendors are hoping this case will be seen as a criminal case and not a civil because they say he intentionally set out to rip them off. 

"When it turned out that he had gone to the city to change the zoning from an outdoor market to a covered storage area and then starting accepting money from vendors for the next season, he knew he wasn't going to have a swap meet," says the former client.  

As of late this evening Dinwiddie has not yet made his $200,000 bond. He remains behind bars. He is due back in court at the end of the month.

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