The Miccosukee hired me to produce furniture for their hotel and refuse to pay me the open balance of over $280,000. Have you seen their commercials on television, which advertise their newly remodeled hotel rooms? Well I furnished them and they have refused to pay me close to $300,000. The entire, unbelievable, story is below. If you have had a similar experience with the Miccosukee please post it. If you do business with them, beware. You have no recourse against them if they decide not to pay you. Please show your support and like me on facebook, miccosukeescam, and Twitter. I have a website,as well www.miccosuke-scam.com. Also contact them and let them know how you feel. Thank you for your support.
In June of 2009 I was approached by the interior designer for the Miccosukee Hotel to meet regarding the remodeling project of the Miccosukee Hotel. She explained to me that she was in charge of completely renovating the hotel. The Chairman at the time, Billy Cypress, wanted to upgrade the Miccosukee Hotel to a five star hotel. The renovation project was a complete renovation project, including large scale construction. I explained that there are certain criteria that must be met, in order to achieve a five classification, which can not be done on that particular property. Nevertheless, we can make the accommodations of five star quality. She then informed me that the project would need to be completed by January 15. I explained that it could be done, as long as all the final furniture and fabrics could be selected quickly. This way we can have the furniture produced overseas.
By the time we actually started working on the furniture and fabrics it was well into September. The designer was just given too much responsibility and too little time to complete those responsibilities. We began the process of designing the rooms immediately and bidding out the furniture. Since we were no longer in time to produce the goods overseas, we bid the goods out to several manufacturers, which could produce all custom size furniture in the U.S.. We settled on two that were well established and could produce custom sizes in a short period of time. I submitted my estimates to the designer, so that she could receive the final approval from the Miccosukee's finance department and the tribes chairman. The estimates were accepted and I received fifty percent deposits, on October 27, 2009, to commence the production of the furniture.
As the project commenced, we ran in to a lot of delays. The majority were due to the fact that we were on such a short deadline. I was able to get the furniture into production immediately, after we received the deposits, but I did not have the final approval for the fabrics for the furniture. When I did receive the final approval on the fabrics there was a large number of very fine residential fabric that they had chosen, that would need to be sent to be treated with fire retardant and stain resistant.
In spite of all the hold ups we were able to commence the furniture deliveries on December 18, 2009. The first deliveries of furniture went into the hotels rooms without any problems. Final payment for the good that we were delivering was received, in a timely manner, after I submitted to the finance department the documentation that the goods delivered were in good condition. We were on track to delivery all the furniture before the January 15 deadline.
Then, in December 2009, the Miccosukee held elections for Chairman, which are held every four years, and the long standing chairman, Billy Cypress, was defeated by Collie Billy. The new chairman took office in January 2010. I was told by the designer to continue as previously planned. Not long after that, the designer was fired and the head of house keeping, Connie Lacourt, was appointed as my new contact point. I met with Connie, immediately to introduce myself and give her an overview of where we were in the project. At this time, there were two containers of furniture that were on their way to the hotel. When the containers arrived I was told that rooms were not finished so the hotel could not receive the furniture. I had to redirect the two truck loads of furniture to a warehouse, which I had to rent, because Connie informed me that the hotel did not have anywhere to store the furniture. She also told me to hold all deliveries of the remaining furniture until further notice.
Nonetheless, I stored the furniture and informed my manufacturers to hold the deliveries of the remaining truck loads of furniture. They agreed but said that they would have to charge for storage, due to the fact that they would need to rent a place to store the furniture. I agreed and assured my manufacturers that I would cover the cost and pass it on to the Miccosukee.
Shortly after, I was asked to meet with the new team in charge of the hotel renovation. I went to the meeting and met with the Miccosukee's new architect Felix Pardo, new contractor Doug Wells and Connie. At the meeting they asked many questions including why the cost of the furniture was so high. I explained to them that given the extremely short time line, we had to RUSH produce all furniture, which is expensive, and we had to produce all of the furniture in the U.S. In addition, we were unable to value engineer any of the goods because they were all custom sizes. Also adding to the cost, was the fact that the fabrics that were chosen by their designer were all very expensive residential fabrics. They then said that they wanted to change some things around in the rooms and I agreed to help them however I could.
After four months of paying for storage, they asked me to start delivering the goods, but only certain items. I did as they asked and started to deliver the items. The problem was that nobody that was in charge now had any real knowledge of the project, including where anything went in the rooms. So instead of just delivering the goods, I had to physically unload the furniture with the contractors laborers, and install the individual pieces in all of the rooms with them. I literally had to educate everyone involved on where every piece of furniture was to be placed. I had to manually unload the hundreds of pieces of furniture, in the middle of the summer, from the containers, place the pieces in the rooms with the contractors employees and laborers. Needless to say, this was not part of my deal with the Miccosukee but I did it because I had no other choice. In addition, there were some head boards for the Presidential suites, which they did not like, that I replaced at no extra charge.
When I finished delivering the items, which the new team instructed me to deliver, I was left with the daunting task of trying to collect payment for the items that were delivered, the items that remained in storage, the storage that I had to pay for their goods, and the freight cost that I also had to pay (it clearly states on every estimate and invoice that storage and freight were not included in the price). I have still not been paid in full for the items that I have delivered. There is a balance on those items of $32,830.15. In addition, they refuse to pay me for the delivery charges and storage charges which are in excess of $60,000. There are left over fabrics and furniture that their designer ordered for the rest of the hotel, which they have refused to take possession of or pay for the remaining balances. I have tried repeatedly for over two years to collect the over $280,000 that the Miccosukee still owes me for the work that I have done at their request. I went above and beyond what I was supposed to do for this client and what I have gotten in return is a complete run around and repeated request to submit the same documents over and over, which I do, and receive no payment. They passed me off to the head of accounting, Lillian Gusman, which does not return my messages for weeks at a time. They last passed me of to their in-house council, which informed me that "It is the Tribes position, that you have been paid in full on this matter." How convenient!!
I believe that it is extremely important to let the public know about what the Miccosukee have done to a local business. I believe that it is an atrocity that the Miccosukee would do this to someone in the very community that supports their gaming operations. Please help me get the word out so that they can not do this to anyone else in our community.