BALDWYN – The plant manager of ForeFront Group’s distribution center here said Thursday that he was surprised to hear the facility was closing.
WTVA, citing a story in the Banner-Independent newspaper in Booneville, said the golf accessories supplier’s 50 employees would be out of work, possibly by July.
But a man who identified himself as the plant manager said he had heard nothing about it.
“As a matter of fact, we’re shipping products today,” he said. “I’m trying to figure out where this information came from.”
He then referred all further comment to the company’s headquarters in Springfield, Tenn., where CEO Stan Harris said he had not read or seen the report and could not comment on it.
“We’re continuing to take the operations on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
Asked if he meant that there would be no layoffs or plant closings, Harris responded, “I didn’t say that,” and again said the company was operating day to day.
Speculation about the future of the company began in mid-February, when executives of Stanford Financial Group, which is a lead investor in ForeFront, were charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission of setting up a massive Ponzi scheme that bilked investors of billions of dollars.
A receiver appointed by a federal judge froze Stanford’s assets, which presumably included ForeFront.
Gloria Neal, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, said the agency had not received any official word from ForeFront of a layoff.
She also declined to comment on whether ForeFront had contacted MDES for rapid response services, which typically are used when a plant closes.
Gerald Williams, executive director of the Prentiss County Development Association, said he hadn’t heard of ForeFront closing its doors and had spoken to Harris, too.
Dennis Seid/Daily Journal