TARBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – CBS 17 is learning more about the woman who owns the consulting firm that said it was going to hire 225 people in Edgecombe County for a call center.
All the job offers were later rescinded, leaving scores without work.
It’s a story CBS 17 first broke Thursday night.
Consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia got a phone call from Stephanie Braswell, the CEO of NBSF Consulting, reacting to our initial story.
She was asked if she would do an on-camera interview and she said no claiming she was hospitalized.
She wouldn’t say where she was being treated or why so CBS 17 was unable to confirm that claim.
She did agree to speak to Sbraccia by phone and denied she was in hiding or incommunicado.
On September 20, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for NBSF Consulting took place in downtown Tarboro in front of a building that was supposed to house the company’s 225 employees and a call center.
Shortly after that ceremony, Braswell claimed to CBS 17 that the building in downtown Tarboro was unacceptable.
“After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, we had pipes burst not once but twice,” Braswell said.
She said she began a search for a new building.
The economic development agency Carolinas Gateway Partnership said Braswell stopped communicating with them in early October as they tried to find another building for her.
But Braswell told CBS 17 they never contacted her.
Carolinas Gateway Partnership’s CEO Norris Tolson told CBS 17, “she did not communicate with us anymore.”
Ten days before the groundbreaking, Braswell registered NBSF Consulting Inc. with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office.
Braswell admits she registered her company headquarters at a now-vacant home in Rocky Mount – a home where she says she and her mother used to live.
She told CBS17 she was waiting to change the address of her company’s headquarters once when she got a building in North Carolina.
Braswell claims the company is currently headquartered in Virginia and employs 115 people.
She also said she never told prospective employees to quit their old jobs but that’s not what Ashley White says.
“We all received an email from the company saying to come to the ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 20,” said White. “At the ceremony, we were told what our start date would be. Mine was October 14.”
White said she put in her two-week notice with her job once she received her start date.
But those who thought they had a job, like White, received a letter Thursday from the company rescinding all job offers.
White says the letter was postdated to November 11.
The lack of a job left her in a lurch to support three kids with a part-time job that has no health benefits.
“I’ve had to struggle so much,” she said. “I’ve had to borrow money from my 80-year-old grandmother.”
With good-paying jobs hard to come by in Edgecombe County, White and those who were offered jobs that never materialized want justice.
“We’re trying to see if maybe there is a lawyer who will step in and help us,” said White.
Braswell claims there was nothing dishonorable in what she did.
“There was never an attempt to scam anyone or promise jobs that weren’t going to be delivered. It simply did not work out,” she said.
But White isn’t convinced saying Braswell went for weeks without contacting any of those who were hired and refused to respond to emails.
“It’s such a shocker anyone would have the audacity to do this to another person is beyond all of us,” White said.
Braswell claims her company is still operating in Virginia with 115 people but internet and public records searches could find no indication of a physical location for the firm.
All CBS 17 could find was a website for NBSF Consulting that has a phone number which links to voicemail.
The victims in this ordeal have started a GoFundMe.