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United Furniture baron David Belford, who fired all his employees, founded charity for sick kids


The owner of United Furniture Industries has been noted for his philanthropic efforts in past years — whilst he has landed in legal scraps and contentious bankruptcy proceedings, in line with news reports and court documents.

David Belford — who made headlines last week for abruptly yanking jobs and medical health insurance for his 2,700 employees — founded a charity for sick children and donated $10 million to ascertain a spinal cord injury research center at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center — a Columbus, Ohio facility named after Victoria’s Secret’s billionaire founder, Les Wexner.

In 2008, he established the Belford Family Charitable Fund, which supports children’s organizations including Flying Horse Farms, a camp for sick children that he and his wife, Jenni, co-founded. He’s listed because the founder and owner of the camp along along with his investment firm Stage Capital.

Jenni and David Belford at an event at their non-profit camp, Flying Horse Farms.Flying Horse Farm

At the identical time, Belford has been named in lawsuits and bankruptcy proceedings alleging that he’s been involved in “fraudulent transfers” of monies and “brazen violations” of non-compete agreements, in line with court documents.

Last 12 months, American Freight — a reduction furniture company that his brother Steve founded 28 years ago and later sold  – sued Belford, alleging that he stole trade secrets and violated non-compete agreements after being bought out by its latest owner for $15 million. His investment firm, Stage Capital and an organization he owned – Surplus Freight – were also named within the grievance, as was American Freight’s former CEO, Asaph Rink.

Ohio State University Wexner Medical CenterThe Belford family donated $10 million to ascertain a spinal cord injury research center on the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.Google Maps

American Freight alleged that Belford and Rink “poached” its employees and commenced systematically opening Surplus Freight furniture stores – which had previously been positioned in Canada – within the US and in key American Freight markets.

“Surplus Freight and its stores are nearly carbon copies of American Freight’s stores,” in line with the grievance.

The litigation was eventually settled.

Jenni BelfordJenni Belford co-founded Flying Horse Farms, a camp for sick children, together with her husband, David.Flying Horse Farm

Belford was also involved in a liquidation bankruptcy case in 2005 of a reduction furniture and bedding chain called Nationwide Warehouse and Storage, LLC. The trustee for Nationwide Warehouse was looking for to get well $35 million from Belford in an “adversary proceeding,” alleging that Belford received the $35 million in “fraudulent transfers,” in line with court documents.

The trustee for Nationwide Warehouse also brought a separate adversary proceeding against United Furniture Industries.

The case was also settled in a “compromise settlement,” in line with court documents and it’s not clear whether Belford needed to pay anything.

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