Dozens of customers may have lost money to a Monroe company, apparently now out of business, that failed to deliver cemetery monuments they had bought.
Kathie Crump of Waxhaw said she paid Tunis Selby of Memorial Design Concepts $2,135 in October for a headstone for her late husband, Kenneth. The Southern Baptist minister and Army veteran died last March.
When she called to check on the order in early January, Crump said she found that Selby’s cell phone had been disconnected. She visited the business a few days later and said Selby told her he would check on the order. Crump called again in the last week of January to find a new manager in the space Selby had rented, but no record of the headstone.
“I’m trying to find answers as to whether my monument was even ordered or whether he spent my money on somebody else’s order,” Crump said Friday. “I want to see him prosecuted.”
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The new manager of Monroe Monuments, the space Selby leased last year, said about 60 orders are outstanding. Manager Darwin Collins said Selby had done business both as Memorial Design Concepts, which listed a Matthews address, and Monroe Monuments. Collins said he started running Monroe Monuments on Jan. 25.
“I spend more time on the phone trying to track down his orders,” Collins said, adding that he’s resolved six or seven orders. “When a customer calls in, I don’t have any paperwork so I have the customers send me their paperwork. I’m giving that to my supplier to track the stone to see if it’s done and been paid for.”
WJZY reported that one woman paid Selby $10,000 for a monument that was never delivered. The monument was later found in a warehouse and will be delivered, the news station said, reporting that other customers have similar complaints.
Steve Bridle, a monument supplier in Statesville who owns the Monroe Monuments site, said he leased space to Selby in early 2017. Bridle said he told Selby in January that he wouldn’t renew the lease after hearing complaints from other suppliers who hadn’t been paid for their stones.
Selby pulled out the next day, Bridle said. Bridle said his own supply business is still owed $15,000 and he estimated that about 60 monument orders are in limbo.
“Come to find out he’s owing everybody money,” Bridle said.
A phone number listed on a Memorial Design Concepts letterhead has been disconnected. Public records show no bankruptcy filings, litigation or criminal charges against Selby or Memorial Design Concepts. Records also show that Selby owns another memorial business in Florence, S.C.
The Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont and Western N.C. has no listing for Selby or Memorial Design Concepts. The BBB shows one complaint, a delivery issue filed in October and later closed, against Monroe Monuments.
Researcher Maria David contributed.