Jane.com, a Utah-based technology company that was founded by a couple, Megan and Mike McEwan, in April 2011, is currently under investigation over unpaid dues. The company claimed to be a retail website for female business owners, aiming to help them thrive in their endeavors.
Employees who worked at the company said that the marketplace shut down on Friday, November 17, as per The Salt Lake Tribune. However, several business owners expressed concern as they did not receive any response from the company, which reportedly owed them a hefty amount of money. This led to a probe into the situation by Lehi police.
KSL News said that many sellers reached out to them to share that they had not been paid in weeks, resulting in a loss of thousands of dollars ahead of the holiday shopping season. Brianna Chavez, a representative from the outlet who was reporting from outside Jane's office building, said that she was not able to locate the company’s leadership, whom she wished to speak to regarding the abrupt and unnotified closure.
However, Brianna said that she spoke to a former employee of Jane.com, who told her that roughly 100 employees were informed on Friday morning that the company was ceasing its operations. They also mentioned that the employees were not offered any severance.
"It’s just sad. It’s sad for so many people besides myself," they said.
Jane.com under investigation as sellers affected by the sudden closure
The vendors started suspecting that the company might be on the brink of collapse when they began facing delays in their recent payments or were not getting any payment at all. It left many of them wondering where all their money went. Jen Abegg, who had been selling jewelry on the website for over 10 years, told The Salt Lake Tribune:
“What does that mean for all the small businesses? It’s been very disappointing as a small business owner… It’s going to devastate families.”
Brian Coons, a business owner who sold personalized gifts on Jane's website said that the company had been a great marketplace, until Friday, when Jane.com seemingly ceased to exist. Upon entering their website URL online on Friday morning, a message on the screen mentioned that the server was down for maintenance.
Another vendor, who wished to remain anonymous, told the publication that the retailer owed her about $35,000. She tearfully said on Friday that she felt betrayed and also felt bad for the customers whose orders might not be delivered.
Two business owners filed complaints against Jane.com with the Lehi Police Department but in both cases, the officers did not find sufficient evidence to issue criminal fraud charges against the retailer, as per The Salt Lake Tribune. However, they suggested the vendors talk to their lawyers regarding this issue and file civil complaints.
The department has now opened an investigation into the company. The Lehi police have also said that if anyone wishes to file a complaint against Jane.com they can reach out to Lehi PD on its non-emergency number, 801-794-3970.