United Furniture owner who fired all employees has $24M in real estate assets

since Fired 2,700 employees Through texts and emails as they slept last week — just before Thanksgiving — David Belford, owner of United Furniture Industries, seems to have disappeared,

But he may be hiding in one of his two homes worth an estimated $24 million, The Post reports.

Belford, 62, currently owns a farmhouse in Mount Gilead, Ohio, which he bought back in 1991 for $600,000, records show.

The home is a lakeside estate overlooking the waters of Straits Lake.

According to Zillow, a five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,000-square-foot residence costs $1,133,800 today.

The entrance way to the main lake house.
The entrance way to the main lake house.
An aerial shot of the home that shows the pool as well as the boat dock.
An aerial shot of the home shows a pool as well as a boat dock.

Meanwhile, his most prized piece of real estate, according to Redfin, is an oceanfront two-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Naples, Florida, which is worth an estimated $22,870,283.

Records show that he purchased the Sunshine State home in 2011 for $6 million.

During the pandemic, Florida’s west coast property market has taken a beating, boosted by remote work and sunny weather.

The ocean front home was renovated with modern finishes.
The oceanfront home was renovated with modern finishes.

Belford has been quiet since laying off its entire workforce in Mississippi, North Carolina and California. The sources said that despite efforts by lawyers representing the laid-off workers and lenders to reach UFI, no one has heard from the company or Belford. Post.

“Nobody listened to the owner. He is not answering anyone’s phone calls. It’s such a terrible situation,” an insider with knowledge of the situation told The Post.

Philip Hearn, one of the lawyers representing hundreds of sacked workers, said there have been rumors he is currently in Paris.

“At the direction of the Board of Directors…we regret to inform you that due to unforeseen business circumstances, the Company has been forced to take the difficult decision of terminating the employment of all its employees, effective immediately on November 21 effective,” the company said in a message to employees.

“With the exception of over-the-road drivers who are on delivery. Your layoff from the company is expected to be permanent and all benefits will be terminated immediately without the provision of COBRA.”

It’s not clear why the two-decade-old company abruptly wound down its operations, but over the summer it fired its chief executive, chief financial officer and executive vice president of sales. According to Furniture Today,

The move also came after Belford feuded with the company’s board and bankers about filing for bankruptcy. On November 20, the day before the entire company was to be shut down, the board filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Jenny and David Belford.
Jenny (far left) and David Belford at an event at their non-profit camp, Flying Horse Farm.
Flying Horse Farm

Meanwhile, despite his shortcomings, court documents show that Belford is known for his philanthropic effort In previous years – while dealing with contentious legal proceedings.

Belford and his wife, Jenny, founded a charity for sick children and donated $10 million to establish The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center – a spinal cord injury research center in Columbus, Ohio, named after Named after the billionaire founder of Victoria’s Secret. Les Wexner,

In 2008, he and his wife co-founded the Belford Family Charitable Fund, which supports children’s organizations including the Flying Horse Farm, a camp for terminally ill children.

However, Belford has also been named in several lawsuits alleging “fraudulent transfers” of funds and “brazen violations” of non-compete agreements, court documents showed.

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