The owner of United Furniture, which has laid off all its employees, has $24 million in real estate

Since laying off 2,700 workers last week via text and email while they slept — just before Thanksgiving — United Furniture Industries owner David Belford has been missing.

But he may be hiding in one of his two $24 million homes, The Post reported.

Belford, 62, now owns a farmhouse in Mount Gilead, Ohio, which he bought in 1991 for $600,000.

The home is a lakefront property with water views of Straits Lake.

According to Zillow, the five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 4,000-square-foot residence is worth $1,133,800 today.

Entrance to the main lake house.
Aerial view of the home showing the pool and boat dock.
An aerial view of the home shows the pool and boat dock.

Meanwhile, his most valuable real estate, according to Redfin, is a two-bedroom, three-bathroom oceanfront home in Naples, Florida, which is listed at an estimated $22,870,283.

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

During the pandemic, Florida’s west coast real estate market has heated up due to remote work and sunny weather.

Oceanfront home renovated with modern finishes.
Oceanfront home renovated with modern finishes.

Belford has been quiet since laying off its entire workforce in Mississippi, North Carolina and California. Sources told The Post that despite solicitors and lenders reaching out to UFI, no one has heard from the company or Belford.

“No one has heard from the owner. He does not answer anyone’s calls. It’s a very dire situation,” an insider with knowledge of the situation told The Post.

Philip Hearn, one of the lawyers for the hundreds of sacked workers, said there were rumors that he was now 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 make the difficult decision to lay off all of its employees effective November 21,” the company said in a statement to employees. said.

“Except for passing drivers. Your severance 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 suddenly shut down, but over the summer it fired its chief executive officer, chief financial officer and executive vice president of sales. According to Furniture Today.

The move also came after Belford clashed with the company’s management and bankers over whether to file for bankruptcy. The board filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 20, the day before the entire company was to be laid off.

Jenny and David Belford.
Jenny (left) and David Belford at an event at the nonprofit Flying Horse Farms Camp.
Flying horse farm

Meanwhile, despite his shortcomings, court documents show that Belford has been known for his philanthropic efforts over the years — dealing with controversial lawsuits.

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

In 2008, he and his wife founded the Belford Family Charitable Foundation, which supports children’s organizations, including Flying Horse Farms, a camp for sick children.

However, Belford has also been cited in several lawsuits alleging “fraudulent transfers” of money and “gross breach” of non-compete agreements.


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