Bo JOSH FRIEDMAN
The owner of a consignment store that operated at a single San Luis Obispo location for nearly 30 years before closing in May is facing charges for allegedly writing bad checks. The owner is also under investigation for possible fraudulent business practices. [KSBY]
Andrea Bowen-Gardner, the owner of Timeless Treasures Home Consignment, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Bowen-Gardner has nearly $370,000 of debt and more than 50 creditors, according to a bankruptcy filing.
Former Timeless Treasures employees say they were not paid and consignors say they have not received their items back.
Timeless Treasures Home Consignment closed shortly before or after being evicted from its location at 4554 Broad Street. The property manager evicted Timeless Treasures for owing more than $40,000 in back rent, according to bankruptcy documents.
Also in May, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office opened a fraud investigation into Timeless Treasures. Since opening the investigation, the DA’s Office has received nearly 30 complaints.
State prosecutors have charged Bowen-Gardner with two felonies and one misdemeanor for writing bad checks. Bowen-Gardner pleaded not guilty to the three charges on Monday.
There is a high likelihood similar conduct has occurred in jurisdictions other than SLO County, according to the district attorney’s office.
In 2005, Bowen-Gardner owned a pair of consignment stores in Northern California called The Wood Shoppe. Sacramento County court documents show there were at least two successful lawsuits against The Wood Shoppe in 2006.
Among the many individuals who have come forward with complaints about Bowen-Gardner, Milton Davis of Arroyo Grande said he was never compensated for a limited edition Christian Lassen painting he brought into Timeless Treasures. Davis said the painting sold, but he was not paid. His online Timeless Treasures consignor portal showed he was owed $287.50 for the painting, Davis said.
Former employee Anne Walker said there were numerous times people were asking where their checks were or why they had bounced. Walker said she was incapable of answering the questions, and after going nearly three months herself without pay, she quit.
After quitting, Walker received paychecks from her boss, but each of the paychecks bounced, she said.
Excluding tax, Timeless Treasures owed her about $8,000, Walker said. The former employee has a pending complaint with the California Labor Commission.
Bowen-Gardner is currently out of custody on $20,000 bail.