More bad news for Upper Crust pizza chain. Earlier this week, the company closed most of its locations and laid off 140 employees, and is reportedly on the verge of a permanent shutdown if it is not immediately backed by investors.
Today, more allegations of the misuse of company funds have come to light. According to a report in Boston.com, independent Upper Crust franchise owners are claiming that the chain ran Groupons without their knowledge and kept the proceeds for themselves.
“We regret to inform you that we can no longer honor the Groupon vouchers that were sold for our Newburyport store in August. Thousands of these vouchers were sold by Upper Crust ‘corporate’ without our knowledge or consent. In addition, Upper Crust purposefully kept all of the proceeds & filed for bankruptcy,” writes the Newburyport Upper Crust on Facebook.
Also on Facebook, the West Roxbury Upper Crust writes that the vouchers left them with a $23,000 deficit.
As a result, the independently-owned Upper Crusts in West Roxbury, Newburyport, and Portsmouth, N.H. say they can no longer honor the Groupons because they are not receiving any money from them.
Upper Crust declared bankruptcy in October after years of financial issues. The trouble began in 2009, when 100 employees sued the chain for unpaid overtime wages. Last week, it was reported that the pizzeria owes $850,000 in those unpaid wages.
According to an earlier report in Boston.com, Upper Crust owes about $3.4 million to creditors.