Special Report: Columbus business closing after lengthy investigation
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Our investigation uncovered wrongdoing by a local business owner prompting a state investigation.
Wednesday evening, we learned that the business Swoon & Co. has closed. In a post on the company's Facebook page, they are "Closed indefinitely to work on current orders that have been placed."
The home decorative and monogramming business was accused by customers of taking their money and never delivering the products they ordered.
"I just feel like she lied and betrayed her customers," says former customer Lindsay Sherman.
Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr began investigating the business in February. In a court filing, Carr stated that the business committed at least 100 violations of Georgia's Fair Business Practices Act.
The act is enforced by the Department of Law's Consumer Protection Office. The purpose of this "prohibits unfair and deceptive acts or practices in the marketplace. This law applies to consumer transactions involving the sale, lease or rental of goods, services or property mainly for personal, family or household purposes."
According to CPU's website, they pursue these cases when the Attorney General sees "substantial public interest."
In January, owner Jen Pierce told us that personal problems had caused the issues with her company but that "Since everything aired on the news we have hired more people."
Pierce said that she was going to make things right with her customers. While the company may have hired more people, the issues did not subside.
In an interview with the Better Business Bureau, Regional Director Tabitha Ingraham refuted those complaints.
"Complaints on Swoon and Company are still very consistent," Ingraham said.
When our first story aired, Swoon had 153 complaints. At the time this story was published, the business has 320 complaints with the BBB.
According to Inghram, the BBB has turned customer complaints over to the State's Consumer Protection office to assist in the investigation.
"I got nothing," says Swoon customer Gerry Hamilton, "It has been six months."
According to the court records, none of the customers who have complaints against Swoon and Co. are listed as creditors in her bankruptcy filing. The Attorney General says that Pierce intentionally failed to notify his office and consumers of her bankruptcy filing.
"I just felt like I was duped by her," said former customer Lindsay Sherman.
As a result of failing to notify those involved, the court granted consumers an extended amount of time to make a complaint with the court.
Those affected before March 24 of 2017 have until November 1 to file a complaint.
According to court officials, those wishing to make a complaint can do so in person or by calling 706-649-7837.
Click here for a timeline of events on the Swoon Company investigation as well as legal documents on the case.