Hundreds of people across the province are looking for answers and their money after a local Hamilton farmer closed up shop abruptly last week.
Clients say they used Middletown Farms in Dundas for the local and organic meat but never thought they would have to chase after the owner, Brandon Graham, for their orders or their money back.
Some people are only out of pocket a few hundred dollars but some are out of pocket thousands, like Laura Whittle who had been ordering from the farm for a year. She has yet to receive two cows worth of meat.
‘I’m out almost $2,000 on my credit card and a couple hundred dollars on email money transfers that were supposed to be for eggs and fruit for this year.”
This is just one story of hundreds listed on multiple Facebook groups. In the majority of cases the meat was ordered and paid for up to six months in advance, and now there’s a chance the credit card companies won’t reimburse, because in some cases, refunds must be processed within 120 days of the payment date.
Graham declined an on camera interview saying he was heading to Kitchener for a bankruptcy meeting but he did email CHCH saying that they have been refunding customers and cancelling orders, but dozens if not hundreds of his 15,000 clients are still waiting for their money.
Ken Norton is the owner of Norton Farms and used to supply Graham with beef, up to $40,000 worth a month from his cattle. He may have been hit the hardest.
“On the very last invoice that we sent to him, which was over $11,000, he said that if we wanted payment that we would have to take him to court or see a creditor.”
Norton says he’s been trying to collect his money for months.
“He’s very difficult to deal with, doesn’t answer phones only replies by text messages.”
And online, customers have shared his Facebook comments towards them where he uses vulgar words and profanity.
According to the former clients, multiple police forces are investigating including Hamilton, Brantford and Waterloo. Hamilton Police say their fraud unit has only one formal complaint so far. Some of the customers have told us that they have left several voice mail messages for the detectives and have yet to receive a call back.