By Napoleon F. Kingcade
Back in April, Daniel Roberts says the owners of Furniture Sir-Plus make him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Well, he should have.
That’s because Daniel Roberts now says his life has been a “living hell” since the first day he became the sole owner of the store that he renamed, “Kings Furniture Warehouse at 5351 Lancaster Avenue.
It began when the 48-year-old Roberts says he paid $160,000 to Mark Finkelstein and Charles Lederman who operated under the name of “ Furniture Sir-Plus.”
Roberts bought all the stock, locks - and trouble. A lot of trouble.
“Everything was going just fine after the first few days, but trouble started up in the store after the first week,” recalled Roberts.
He said customers started coming out of the woodworks, many of them claimed they purchased furniture from the previous owners and their furniture was never delivered.
“ Customers started holding me responsible for what the previous owners did. They came in my store claiming they bought furniture, but many of them didn’t have their receipts.
“I got caught up in some crazy stuff. But I’m trying to straighten everything out, anyway.
Most of the complaints, however, he said were a great number of customers didn’t have their receipts for items on lay-away or sought their furniture after allowing their lay-away agreements to expire after 90 days.
Roberts still has a hold of those documents and keeps them all filed up in his office.
“ I have dealt with everything that has come through my doors and I still find it in my heart to work things out with the customers and make everything right,” said Roberts. “Right now, I’m taking the lost. To keep my business, I will take that lost.”
Despite his efforts to satisfy those old customers and correct all the things that the previous owners had left behind, Daniel Roberts is also caught up in a state lawsuit that by Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
The lawsuit, announced last July 24th, names “Furniture Sir-Plus” owners Mark Finkelstein and Charles Lederman as defendants. Daniel Roberts’ name was also mentioned in the lawsuit.
Kane had the store’s assets frozen and prevented the defendants from accepting any further payments or selling furniture that belongs to certain consumers.
The lawsuit alleges the business entities and individuals closed two other furniture stores without notifying their customers whom they failed to deliver items and reimbursed for paid furniture that was not delivered.
The lawsuit says the defendants allegedly moved all the leftover furniture to another location in the city to be taken by Daniel Roberts and his business “King Furniture Warehouse.”
The lawsuit seeks full restitution for consumers who have suffered losses as a result of the alleged business dealings of the entities and defendants named in the lawsuit.
“Right now, I’m still open,” said Roberts. “If I was guilty of doing something wrong, I wouldn’t still be open.
“I’m a good person with a good heart,” he added. “Right now, I’m trying to do all the right things. I work hard.
Whatever I do, I try to work hard in everything I do. Even though I got people who are trying to destroy me, I’m constantly doing the right thing and keeping my business moving forward.”