Empire Today, Carpet One Helps Victims of a Carpet Con

Businesses help customers who say a local carpet seller took their cash but didn’t deliver the carpet

There are new developments in a story NBC 5 Investigates Consumer Unit reported last month.

In March we told you about some North Texans who say they had the rug pulled out from under them -- literally. They said they paid for carpet up front, and the business didn't deliver.

Brandon and Josey Dunagan said they were among several North Texans victimized in the carpet scheme.

Last summer, Brandon Googled Empire. He thought he was calling Empire Today, the famed carpet provider based in Illinois that advertises heavily in the DFW television market. But instead, he mistakenly called a business based in Arlington with a similar name – Empire Carpets and Showers.

The owner of Empire Carpets and Showers is John Segovia, a felon convicted of theft who also currently has nine liens and three bankruptcy filings. The Dunagans said Segovia took $1,450 but never showed up with their carpet.

"He's a bad person that needs help," said Brandon.

When we first told their story on NBC 5, leaders of the real Empire Today took notice. They immediately called the Dunagans and offered to carpet their entire home for free.

"They wanted to make right what somebody else did wrong using their name," said Brandon.

Curtis and Jimmie Durant said they also fell victim to John Segovia’s scheme. The elderly couple had just bought a home in Cleburne to be close to their daughters. The daughters had spent weeks painting and making repairs to the home before move-in. The couple paid John Segovia $1,400 up front. Segovia promised to deliver the carpet in days.

Jimmie Durant said he delivered excuses instead.

"We wondered what we were going to do because times are hard when you're our age," said Durant.

She had to buy carpet for her living and bedrooms elsewhere -- leaving no money to finish the rest of the house.

When executives at Carpet One saw her story, the company offered to complete the work. Workers installed carpet in her sun room and tile in her bathroom as well as the entry.

"It's a wonderful job they're doing," said Jimmie, grinning. “I think it’s awesome!”

Meanwhile, Empire Today successfully sued John Segovia in federal court for trademark infringement. When Segovia failed to comply with an injunction, the judge handed down a contempt judgment. Segovia has been ordered to pay more than $13,000 in attorneys’ fees and will continue to be fined $100 a day until he complies with the injunction.

There’s also a warrant for his arrest for felony theft.

"I hope they catch him and punish him because he's punished a lot of people -- in other words took their money," said Durant.

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