St. Matthews consignment store owner accused of cheating customers
Police say the owner of Clara Belle's Upscale Resale in St. Matthews did not pay customers who brought in items.
ST. MATTHEWS, Ky. (WDRB) -- The owner of a popular St. Matthews consignment shop is accused of cheating her customers.
Police say Anne Chism, the owner of Clara Belle's Upscale Resale in St. Matthews, took in merchandise on consignment and often sold it, but it's what she allegedly didn't do that got her arrested.
"I didn't expect this is going to happen because she looked like a nice person," said Marietta Jones, an alleged victim.
Jones' English may be a little difficult to understand, but she's crystal clear about one thing.
"Oh, I'm mad."
Jones says she took an American Artisans sofa to Clara Belle's Upscale Resale several months ago, but never got paid.
"We split like 50/50 so it's supposed to pay me like $1,100.00 but she didn't pay me at all."
In fact, Jones says she went to the store inside the 4050 Annex in St. Matthews and found more angry customers -- or victims, if you ask police.
"And I asked...where you guys going? They say they going to the police station. I say, can I go?" Jones recounted.
"We actually had seven different victims come to the St. Matthews Police Department and report that they were owed money," said St. Matthews Police Detective Dennis McDonald.
Right now, the store is empty, but it was owned by Chism, who was questioned by police on Friday and arrested.
"We believe that she had malicious intent," said Det. McDonald.
Police do not think this is just a case of poor record keeping.
"The ones who came to the police department and filed reports were adamant that their money, that they were owed money, and that their property was taken unlawfully."
Police say some customers were paid, but still never actually got the cash they were due.
"When she agreed these folks were owed money, she would give them checks. Those checks would be returned because of insufficient funds," Det. McDonald said.
Meanwhile, Marietta Jones still hopes to either get her sofa back or get paid.
"Oh yes, of course, I want my money."
Chism was in court for arraignment on Tuesday morning. A judge entered a not guilty plea on her behalf. She was also released on her own recognizance but is due back in court in June.
Meanwhile, she said no to an on camera interview. However, Chism told WDRB News she's never done anything wrong and that police do not understand the facts of the case.
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