Since firing 2,700 employees through texts and emails while they slept last week — just before Thanksgiving – the owner of United Furniture Industries, David Belford, has seemingly disappeared.
But he could possibly be hiding out in one among his two homes value an estimated $24 million, The Post can report.
Belford, 62, currently owns a farmhouse in Mount Gilead, Ohio, which he purchased back in 1991 for $600,000, records show.
The house is a lakefront estate with water views of Straits Lake.
In accordance with Zillow, the five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,000-square-foot residence is value $1,133,800 today.
The entryway to the predominant lake house. Google
An aerial shot of the house shows a pool in addition to a ship dock. Google
Meanwhile, his most prized piece of real estate is an oceanfront two-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Naples, Florida, value an estimated, $22,870,283, based on Redfin.
Records show he purchased the Sunshine State home back in 2011 for $6 million.
Through the pandemic, Florida’s west coast property market has heated up tremendously, boosted by distant work and sunny weather.
The oceanfront home was renovated with modern finishes. MLS
Belford has remained silent because the layoffs of his entire workforce in Mississippi, North Carolina and California. Despite efforts by lawyers and lenders representing axed employees to succeed in UFI, nobody has heard from the corporate or Belford, sources told The Post.
“Nobody has heard from the owner. He’s not returning anyone’s phone calls. It’s such a horrible situation,” one insider with knowledge of the situation told The Post.
Philip Hearn, one among the attorneys representing a whole bunch of laid-off employees, said that rumors have swirled that he’s currently in Paris.
“On the instruction of the board of directors … we regret to tell you that because of unexpected business circumstances, the corporate has been forced to make the difficult decision to terminate the employment of all its employees, effective immediately, on Nov. 21,” the corporate said in a message to employees.
“Except over-the-road drivers which can be out on delivery. Your layoff from the corporate is anticipated to be everlasting and all advantages will likely be terminated immediately without provision of COBRA.”
It’s unclear why the two-decade-old company dissolved its operations so suddenly, but over the summer it fired its chief executive, chief financial officer and executive vice chairman of sales, based on Furniture Today.
The move also got here after Belford quarreled with the corporate’s board and bankers on whether to file for bankruptcy. On Nov. 20, the day before shedding your entire company, the board filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Jenni (far left) and David Belford at an event at their nonprofit camp, Flying Horse Farms.Flying Horse Farm
Meanwhile, despite his shortcomings, court documents show that Belford has been noted for his philanthropic efforts in past years — while coping with contentious legal proceedings.
Belford and his wife, Jenni, founded a charity for sick children and donated $10 million to determine 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 and his wife co-founded the Belford Family Charitable Fund, which supports children’s organizations including Flying Horse Farms, a camp for ailing children.
Nonetheless, Belford has also been named in several lawsuits alleging “fraudulent transfers” of cash and “brazen violations” of noncompete agreements, court documents revealed.