Gary and Glennyce Cropper made their first appearance in bankruptcy court Monday, to face many of the creditors they are accused of taking money from, up until the minute they close the doors at a well-known North Fresno business.
The Croppers were ordered to produce all personal bank statements for this year, including personal accounts. They were very evasive when asked about their records keeping and bank withdrawals.
ABC30 asked, "You are accused of ripping off an awful lot of people, now's your chance... would you like to say anything?"
The Croppers replied, "No thank you."
The Croppers didn't want to answer questions about the money many clients and contractors say they took right up to the day before they shutdown /*Abbey Flooring and Design Center*/.
Westamerica Bank claims it is owed $450 thousand. Representatives from the bank came to court looking for answers too. They hoped to be able to recover at least some money by liquidating assets that are now missing.
Charles Doerksen, Westamerica Bank attorney said, "The business premises seems to be cleaned out, we had a security interest in the inventory of the business, we advanced money for an operating line for that."
A court appointed trustee didn't get many straight answers either. Glennyce Cropper claimed she doesn't even know whether her mother, who lives next door to her, owns her home. The Croppers have alleged they took a business loan from her mom for an unknown amount of money.
Monday morning, clients like Sandra Meachum showed up to see the Croppers face to face. Meachum paid $20 thousand for a remodel-that was left half finished.
Meachum said, "They took an oath under record and flat out told so many blatant lies it was ridiculous."
Even though she paid Abbey Flooring in full, Meachum is now facing liens from contractors who were never paid.
Former employees came to court hoping to see some remorse from the Croppers for business practices they say are unethical and illegal.
Former employee Elvia Ramirez said, "It was just kind of disturbing to hear what they know, that they didn't want to share."
Another former employee Janice Barr said, "I just want them to be accountable and say what they did, instead of hiding behind not saying anything."
The croppers claimed money they took from their personal bank account was put into the company account to cover whatever expenses needed to be paid. But, they were not more specific about what was actually paid.