MONROE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - FOX 46 Charlotte is getting results for a woman who said she got scammed out of $10,000 when she ordered a monument for her deceased son, but it never came.
Now, more people are coming forward with similar stories.
One FOX 46 viewer said, “Please help us if you can. We get disconnected numbers or told that he is not in the office. Leave messages that go unanswered.”
Zoe Koutsogoulas was in a completely different mood than when our crew saw her on Wednesday. When FOX 46 walked to the door, she jumped for joy. “I’m happy! I’m happy! I’m happy!” she exclaimed.
On Wednesday, however, she described how she paid over $10,000 for a monument for her son, but never got it. It’s the same story heard countless times in just 24 hours; a man named Tunis Selby sells a family a monument for their deceased loved one, but the monument never gets delivered.
“$1,500 is $1,500,” said one man. “That’s a lot of money for a little guy like me and my mama who's now a widow. That's pretty despicable.”
FOX 46 is working to get results. Our crew tracked down Selby’s wife Wednesday night. First, she said she didn’t know a Tunis Selby. Then, she gave our crew an explanation as to why the monument hadn’t been delivered.
The person she referred was actually the couple’s former landlord, Steve Bridle. Bridle also happens to work in the monument business, and he eventually evicted Selby.
“He wasn't too bad with payments with me because rent for that office is very small,” Bridle said. “It was defaulting on payments with suppliers.”
FOX 46 reached out to one supplier who said Selby owes them money too. It was also discovered Zoe Koutsogoulas’ monument was sitting in the warehouse. Selby still owed the supplier more than $1,000 on her order.
Meanwhile, Koutsogoulas, who fronted $10,000, was getting the runaround.
Bridle estimates 60 grieving families are left without their hand-picked monuments. He knows that because they call his new tenant, demanding answers.
“I feel bad for these people who don't have their monuments,” said the new tenant, and monument salesman, Darwin Collins. “I spend all my day just on the phone with them and trying to get the information I need.”
Bridle added, “I knew about the problem, but I didn't know about her [Koutsogoulas] story until last night and then putting it all together, I realized that I might be able to help her.”
Bridle is getting Koutsogoulas her monument; the remaining balance will be wiped clean, for her. When FOX 46 delivered the good news, she said, “Yes, thank you! Thank you! It's [a] good job.”
Bridle said her monument will be delivered in 3-4 weeks.
If you’ve ordered a monument from Tunis Selby or Memorial Design Concepts, and haven’t received it, please email Morgan Frances at firstname.lastname@example.org