DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Dozens of employees claim they were fired without reason or notice. Customers say they're worried they've put down deposits on cars they may never get.
The Red Barn Motors used car dealership in Denham Springs pulled the plug abruptly leaving many high and dry.
"Please leave," said Red Barn Motors' co-owner Devon London.
"Do you work here?" asked Chawla.
"I do not work here," said London.
Red Barn shut down earlier this week with 40-plus employees saying they received calls and text messages late Monday night saying they were out of a job effective immediately.
"Why were all the employees told not to come to work?" asked Chawla.
"That's our issue, not yours," said Red Barn Motors' co-owner Don Richardson.
"Well there are a lot of people calling and wondering why they are out of a job," said Chawla.
"Well, call me, not call you. You don't know," said Richardson.
Before Richardson arrived at the dealership, numerous customers came by the dealership. Erielle Singleton bought a Suburban about a week ago.
"The alarm keeps going off, and there's no alarm button to turn the alarm off. We put $2,500 down on the vehicle," said Singleton. "I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated because you shouldn't have to go through this."
When Singleton came looking for her money back, the doors were locked and there was a sign on the door: "temporarily closed because of family medical circumstances." The sign told her to call London. The I-Team also called the number and got a voicemail.
After another customer called the same number saying she came to make a payment, London showed up.
"Can you tell me what's going on?" asked Chawla. "Why are you guys shut down?"
"Because of illness in the family. We have three people in the family who are very ill," said London.
"Are you going to reopen?" asked Chawla.
"Yes, we are," said London.
"If you're temporarily closed, why not tell the employees that we'll open in a few days?" asked Chawla.
"That is something I don't want to discuss with you," said Richardson.
"Have you filed for bankruptcy?" asked Chawla.
"Absolutely not," said Richardson.
The I-team is told London is promising all the customers who have paid deposits on cars, their money back. Shavon Lloyd is one such person. Her daughter put down $1,200 on a car that now sits on a closed dealership lot.
"Really, she's out of $1,200 with no car, nothing. We just have nothing," said Lloyd.
When Lloyd started asking questions last week, before the dealership shut down, Lloyd said Red Barn issued her a check for $1,200 complete with London's signature.
"We went Monday morning to the bank. They told us that they couldn't cash it. It was insufficient funds. They didn't have anything in there," said Lloyd.
London told the I-Team, all the employees will receive their checks Friday.
Anyone with any complaints is asked to call the Used Car Commission at 925-3866.