A North Carolina business racked up $400,000 from customers before abandoning projects

A Cornelius flooring business accused of taking $400,000 from customers for never-completed installations will soon face charges in court.

Attorney General Josh Stein filed a complaint against Flowers Flooring on Monday. In it, he says more than 80 customers have submitted complaints to The North Carolina Department of Justice citing the company’s “allegedly unlawful practices.”

From February to August, Stein writes, the business deceived customers by requiring deposits for backordered materials that were never delivered or installed by the promised date. No refunds were issued for their “failed promises,” Stein said.

Flowers Flooring in August shut down its website, closed its two storefronts in Cornelius and Winston-Salem and disabled its phone without telling any customers, the complaint says.

Though in October, its Facebook page remained active, touting its customer service workers who “help to serve (their) customers and keep them happy.”

WSOC, The Charlotte Observer’s news partner, in August investigated more than 25 complaints against the company. Customers interviewed then were missing a total of about $242,000 without hope of refunds.

Among those who in the complaint say they were scammed: three Mecklenburg County residents, a nonprofit housing provider dedicated to serving low-income families and a museum affiliated with the North Carolina Museum of Art.

One 97-year-old Davidson client — who lives with her two daughters in their 70s — is left without floors or refunded money.

“People work hard for their money, and home renovations are expensive,” Stein said.

Stein is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, restitution for consumers, civil penalties and other monetary penalties, according to the news release.

Complaints against businesses operating unlawfully can be filed at www.ncdoj.gov/complaint or 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.