Money missing and work unfinished in Abbey shutdown

FRESNO, Calif.

Former employees and some customers tell Action News the owners have closed the design center, without a clear reason why.

Action News spent the day talking with a handful of former employees and customers from Abbey Design and Flooring Center. They said they're owed thousands of dollars and contracting work by the owners of the business.

Customer Jane Sumpter said she's facing more than $20,000 in new debt from contractor liens, even though she says she's paid Abbey Design $40,000. "The plumbing fixtures need to be put in. The painting needs to be done, the light fixtures, the plumbing."

Sumpter says she's fortunate - most of her home remodel is complete. She said it would take about $2,500 to finish the work. She said she hired Abbey Design and Flooring Center owner's Gary and Glennyce Cropper to find subcontractors to do the remodel.

"I trusted them, I paid them. And now I find out that the 40k I paid them, I guess some of that has gone to the contractors, but most of it's gone."

Her money is gone, but in it's place is unfinished work and lien notices. Sumpter just received letters saying the companies hired to work on her house have not been paid. They are looking to collect more than $23-thousand from her. Sumpter worries more notices could be on the way. "So I don't know how many other subcontractors there are out there that Abbey didn't pay. So I don't know how much my debt is."

An Action News report from Friday showed a Northwest Fresno home. The work at that home is hardly near completion, even though the owner says she already paid almost $20-thousand.

Action News has tried for two day to contact Abbey Design owners Gary and Glennyce Cropper. They have not answered the door at their Northwest Fresno home and they have not returned any phone calls.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says it appears the Croppers have not filed bankruptcy for Abbey Design. The BBB did say Glennyce told them "the business was closed and the corporation was dissolving."

Both of the homeowners said they paid Abbey Design 50 percent of the final price up front. The Better Business Bureau says it's best to only pay 10 percent or $1,000, which ever is cheapest.

Action News has talked with at least 6 people who say they are owed more than $10-thousand by the Croppers.

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