A Virginia business owner accused of taking thousands of dollars from customers but never delivering the medical equipment they ordered already faces six felony charges in the commonwealth, but now a Maryland woman says the same thing happened to her.
Karen Mitchell-Nurse’s daughter Naiya was born with multiple disabilities, and years of seizures left her non-verbal and unable to walk on her own.
Now 19 years old, Naiya is too big for Mitchell-Nurse to carry.
“I tried to lift her myself,” she said. “I was the only one in the house … and I hurt myself.”
A ceiling lift is her saving grace, but it’s not the one she originally ordered and paid $4,500 for — $2,500 of her money and the rest from a grant.
She said Jim Clore, the owner of Access Mobility, never actually ordered it for her.
She said she spent months begging Clore to either refund her money or install the lift, and she was getting desperate.
“The second time he was supposed to deliver it, Naiya was falling out of her bath chair,” Mitchell-Nurse said.
Her frustration left her anxious, and she started seeing a psychiatrist, which is when things changed.
“I went for my routine visit, and she said, ‘I was watching something and it sounded like what happened to you,’” Mitchell-Nurse said.
Her doctor showed her one of News4’s recent stories about Access Mobility, and she felt instant relief knowing she wasn't alone.
Several people told News4 they also paid Clore thousands of dollars for medical equipment that was never delivered.
“There has to be something to be done, not only for me to receive the money back, but to stop him, because I don't want anybody to feel the way that I felt,” Mitchell-Nurse said.
She filed a complaint with the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection, which started an immediate investigation.
Last week, Clore sent Mitchell-Nurse a partial refund of $500.
Regardless, Montgomery County said it is pursuing criminal charges against him.
Clore sent a statement saying, "The business has been closed and is in bankruptcy. All customers will be refunded 100 percent. My heart's desire is to resolve all of this, as it was never intentional for the business to fail."
News4 couldn’t find a record of the bankruptcy filing, so Clore directed questions to his attorney’s office. They said he gave them a deposit in October but never followed up to file the case.
Clore has a preliminary hearing in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, on two felony charges next week. He's facing four other felonies in Stafford County, Virginia, which go before a grand jury next month.
Reported by Susan Hogan, produced by Meredith Royster and edited by Perkins Broussard.