RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The owner of a Raleigh based e-retailer is being ordered by the court to refund money to those who ordered items online but never received them.
The situation was brought to the attorney general’s office by CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia and the attorney general took the company to court seeking a restraining order.
The state claims the owner of eRummager’s owes thousands in refunds and it worries all victims might not get paid because Caleb Udofia hasn’t told the attorney general’s office about everyone who is owed money even though a judge ordered his company to do that last month.
“We have incomplete list of outstanding orders,“ said Assistant Attorney General Kristine Ricketts. “We know that because he didn’t give us anything prior to October 2016. We know there are complaints from May 2016.”
Ricketts told Judge Bryan Collins “the list is over of 1,400 people long and there’s at least $110,000 owed in refunds.”
The attorney general continues to insist Udofia created a new online cooperation called Kente Sunwear which the state claims was selling merchandise from the eRummagers site.
“The state’s concern here is that this is a Ponzi scheme, where new sales are generated to repay prior victims,” said Ricketts.
Udofia did not speak in court but his lawyer denied those allegations.
“The inventory is there, it’s stored on New Bern Place. It’s a little housing development,” said attorney James Jorgensen.
Back on Oct. 30, after his first appearance in court, Udofia ran down a courthouse stairwell away from our camera, refusing to answer questions.
Monday, his lawyer spoke with CBS North Carolina after court, but Udofia was nowhere to be seen.
Sbraccia asked when people owed refunds can expect to get the money they’re seeking.
“As soon reasonably possible,” said Jorgensen. “We’re working towards it, and hope by the end of the year.”
In the meantime, the court order prevents eRummagers from taking any more advance orders.
“eRummsgers won’t be conducting business any more,” said Jorgensen. “We want to fulfill orders that have been placed by consumers. Once that happens we will just shut it down.”
Udofia’s lawyer says the company is still trying to figure out how much money is available for refunds. He says accountants are working on that now.