New details emerge in Abbey Flooring investigation

FRESNO, Calif.

As we first reported a month ago, Abbey Flooring left many customers holding the bag when it closed without any warning.

Investigators are staying very quiet about what they've found and several victims said they've been asked not to talk to the media.

But Action News got ahold of some search warrants outlining some key discoveries as the investigation has progressed.

Floor samples and furniture still sit inside the former home of Abbey Flooring, more than a month after Gary and Glennyce Cropper abandoned the business.

The Better Business Bureau has since received 28 complaints from people holding the bag on unfinished home improvement.

"Some folks were left with homes that were in the middle of a remodel down to the studs or down to the sheet rock and waiting for the contractors to come finish the project and that wasn't going to happen," said Cindy Dudley of the Better Business Bureau.

Those complaints led investigators from the district attorney's office to search the business, as well as a nearby storage facility, and the Croppers' home.

Search warrants show they found out the Croppers had been withdrawing thousands of dollars in cash from their bank accounts on a daily basis in the month before closing their business.

Investigators also believe the couple tried to conceal evidence by using the name of an employee to rent a storage unit.

The Croppers may have greeted potential customers with smiles on their brochures, but when an Action News reporter tried to talk to them about their business they gave no greeting at all, refusing to answer the door.

They have filed for bankruptcy protection, though, claiming assets of about $434,000 and liabilities of almost $3.5 million.

Former customers say they're owed nearly $300,000 -- and some say the Croppers were trying to drive that number up, right up to the time Action News first reported their closing.

"They allege that they were asking for additional payments when they had already closed their doors," said Dudley.

The Croppers have not been charged with a crime at this point, but they have hired a defense attorney.

Daniel Bacon told Action News Monday that this is just a case of people who lost everything themselves when their business failed.

He also said the investigation will eventually prove there was no fraud.

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