A former owner of a Manhattan apartment building is suing a New York home furnishers outlet for allegedly defrauding him out of $300.4 million over the past decade, alleging that the outlet has been negligent with its inventory.
According to court documents filed Monday, Jeffrey M. Morris and his wife, Christine Morris, have been “the subject of a series of alleged violations by Defendant New York Home Furnishings Inc.” of New York state law, including a $1.6 million lawsuit alleging the outlet is a “warehouse” and has not kept inventory and paid sales tax.
“It has been the subject of repeated, and repeated, complaints from residents, that the Home Furniture Store is an unsafe and untrustworthy business,” the Morris plaintiffs said in a court filing.
New York state requires that any home furnishing retailer with over $50,000 in inventory must “provide the public with the opportunity to inspect and purchase, and maintain a record of, the inventory.”
The Morris lawsuit alleges that the store has failed to comply with that law in at least one instance, with the outlet allegedly failing to keep inventory and pay sales tax for more than two years.
The Morris family filed the lawsuit in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday, alleging a slew of alleged misconduct by New York-based Home Furnishing Store, which it said had been in business for nearly 20 years and “has consistently refused to provide a single item to the public.”
In a statement to The Associated Press, a representative for New York House Furnishments said the company had not yet been served with the Morris suit and declined further comment.
New Jersey residents who bought furniture at the store in 2012 or 2013, the suit says, were misled into believing they were purchasing “household furniture.”
The filing alleges that Morris was not notified of the alleged fraud or that he was in possession of any inventory at the time.
It says that Morris had no idea the outlet was being defrauded.
The suit seeks unspecified damages, including attorney fees and court costs.
The Associated Press was unable to reach Morris for comment.