Just just before Thanksgiving, David Belford, owner of United Home furnishings Industries in Northeast Mississippi, knowledgeable all 2,700 of his employees that they no lengthier experienced careers.
Friday, the New York Post claimed that Belford is lacking and nowhere to be found.
However, several persons explained to the Clarion Ledger Friday that Belford is thought to be in Paris keeping at an upscale lodge.
“There are a good deal of men and women that would like to see him right now,” explained Philip Hearn, a Jackson-based lawyer symbolizing laid-off United Home furnishings employees from Mississippi. “I have talked with persons who know he is in Paris and have been in touch with him.”
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When United Industries is based close to Tupelo in Okolona, Belford is not a Mississippian.
United Home furnishings would make home furniture underneath its model and the Lane Household Furnishings brand, which it obtained in 2017 from Heritage Home Team LLC for an undisclosed sum. Lane was established in 1912 in Virginia and merged with Tupelo-based Motion Industries in 1972.
Belford, as observed in the New York Submit Story, has been broadly recognized for his philanthropic efforts in previous a long time — even as he has landed in authorized scraps and contentious bankruptcy proceedings, in accordance to news reviews and courtroom documents.
United Furnishings experienced turn into one of the most significant furnishings organizations in the country prior to Belford laid off nearly its full workforce, most of which were being from Northeast Mississippi.
The Clarion Ledger called Belford’s personalized cell cellular phone, but the range is no extended in support. Makes an attempt had been also produced to get in touch with Belford’s brother Steve, but those calls have but to be returned.
In accordance to a story from the Involved Push, just after the staff experienced been laid off by way of electronic mail, a next e-mail was sent to advise them that their “layoff from the business is expected to be everlasting and all benefits will be terminated straight away with no provision of COBRA,” referring to the federal regulation that presents people today who get rid of their work opportunities an solution to maintain their employer-sponsored health and fitness insurance plan coverage less than some situations.
A course action lawsuit was filed on Nov. 30 in U.S. District Court docket for the Northern District of Mississippi versus Belford and United Industries.
Furniture Currently, a trade publication, reported that United fired its chief executive, main monetary officer and government vice president of product sales in June. It then named Todd Evans, the former president of Normal Furnishings, an Alabama-dependent firm, as its new chief executive.
In addition to eight crops in Mississippi, United also experienced 6 vegetation in North Carolina and just one in California. Layoffs took place at the North Carolina and California areas as well.
According to the New York Write-up tale, American Freight — a price cut furnishings business that his brother Steve established 28 years ago and later on marketed — sued Belford last calendar year, alleging that he stole trade tricks and violated non-compete agreements right after remaining acquired out by its new proprietor for $15 million. His financial investment organization, Phase Money and a organization he owned — Surplus Freight — were also named in the grievance, as was American Freight’s former CEO, Asaph Rink.