A MEMBER of staff at a furniture shop has come forward claiming its owner refused to pay their wages and instructed them to tell customers orders had been made when they hadn’t.

Last week the Packet reported that furniture shop Cornwall Homestore in Penryn shut down, allegedly leaving customers who made orders thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Customers, suppliers, and former members of staff have since come forward making various claims about owner Matthew Williams, including that he instructed staff to tell customers that orders had been placed when they hadn’t.

According to Companies House, a new business was also incorporated on July 3, with Matthew’s 23-year-old daughter listed as a director.

It has also since emerged that the owner will be auctioning off remaining stock at the shop this Friday and Saturday, despite allegedly not yet having delivered furniture to customers who have paid for it.

A member of staff who did not want to be named, fearing it could harm her career prospects, has spoken about the anxiety she now suffers after Mr Williams allegedly refused to pay the three members of staff’s final month’s wages.

She said that he told them the company was in liquidation a week before pay day and they would have to recover their wages from a liquidator.

According to Companies House at the time of writing, Cornwall Homestore Ltd is still active.

The woman, who has a four-year-old son, said: “It’s left us all in a bit of a fit, we’re all suffering from anxiety. Just a week before pay day, it’s so deliberate. I had to borrow money to pay my rent. To not pay our wages is just disgusting, he acted like he knew us well and really cared.”

She went on to allege that staff were told two months ago to tell customers that their paid-for furniture had been ordered when in reality, she said, it hadn’t.

Several more customers and a supplier have approached the Packet since last week’s article, saying that they have not received furniture despite allegedly paying, in some cases, upwards of £1,000.

Derek and Barbara Toyne said they paid £928 for a sofa bed and were given a provisional delivery date of June 18.

The furniture was reportedly never delivered and they have been unable to speak to Mr Williams or Homestore staff, although they have received missed calls from a private number.

Supplier Chris Horrocks said he was supposed to meet with Mr Williams last Tuesday to receive payment for a £70 bill, but the businessman reportedly never turned up.

Mr Williams allegedly told him over the phone afterwards that Homestore was still in business, but that he missed the appointment as he did not have a car available.

Kirsty Gay said she paid £1,300 for a set of furniture in December, which was meant to be ready for collection at the end of June. Mr Williams has reportedly told her that it will be ready by Friday, but she suspects that she may not be able to pick it up.

She said: “I’m hoping he’ll turn up, if not I’m going to get in there and get my stuff.”

A spokesperson from auctioneer Lodge and Thomas confirmed that this weekend’s auction was going ahead, but added that they are not involved with Cornwall Homestore and that anyone with issues should contact the business owner.

When the Packet spoke to Mr Williams last week he claimed that the business had shut because a member of staff had allegedly been stealing from him and that some customers had been given refunds.

The Packet spoke to him again yesterday, but he refused to comment on any further allegations.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson has since confirmed a report of theft from a business on May 15.