Just two weeks after FOX 29 Investigates broke the story of big troubles at a city furniture store, Philadelphia's district attorney says he's investigating the business. The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office is already on the case.
Investigative Reporter Jeff Cole says he got a flood of calls about this story. He reports pressure is clearly building on the people who own and operate Furniture Sir-Plus – now known as King Furniture – located at 5351 Lancaster Avenue.
"I was just real anxious to get it," said Deborah Osborne, of Northeast Philly, who paid $2,400 in installments to Furniture Sir-Plus for a bedroom set.
Months later, she sleeps on the hospital bed where she nursed her husband before he died.
"Where's your bedroom set?" Cole asked her.
"They told me that the guy moved, that I have to go to small claims court. And they changed the name," Osborne told us.
She's not alone.
FOX 29 Investigates built a list of 17 consumers who contacted us before our late-June investigative report. They complained they paid for orders never fully delivered or they got nothing at all.
When we showed up looking for new owner, Daniel Roberts, he tried to give us the slip.
"That's my brother," the man answered. "Now, I'm going to explain to you …"
"Oh, Daniel Roberts is your brother? All, right, OK … you're the right guy for us to talk to then," Cole said.
The man replied, "I'm not the right guy. I'm just doing the grounds for my brother."
Nope, he's Daniel Roberts.
The former owner, Mark Finkelstein, told us that.
Now, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says he has also gotten complaints and is investigating.
On Tuesday, Roberts and Finkelstein say they met with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and have committed to resolving all outstanding disputes. They claim there are only ten.
But in a statement, the office of the attorney general's office indicates they've just started talking and there is much more investigative work to be done, adding that Furniture Sir-Plus must deliver exactly what was ordered in good condition or return customers' money.
"So, no one is getting anything from you guys?" Cole asked when he was at the store.
"My brother honored people from April. Anything in the past? No," the man claiming not to be Roberts told us.
They've apparently changed their view on back orders. But there's still trouble.
Police reports show five visits to store locations by officers since February for complaints of fraud -- including an instance of what's described as a "confidence game."
And records show a New Jersey direct-marketing firm is battling in court to force Furniture Sir-Plus and Finkelstein to pay $10,000 in advertising work.
Finkelstein had no comment on the case.
Meanwhile, Osborne is still waiting.
"What needs to happen now?" Cole asked her.
"I need to get my money back, and he needs to get his business shut down," Osborne said.
Since our report, we've heard from six more consumers with similar complaints, bringing the total we've heard from directly to 23!
Again, officials with Furniture Sir-Plus appear ready to make things right. But if they don't, the attorney general and the district attorney seem ready to act, Cole reported.