Isaac Moore, a Houston-based designer, has been accused of defrauding more than a dozen people, many of them also self-made Black business owners.
Joseph Mitchell said he first ran across fashion designer Isaac Moore and his brand, Isaac & Moore, on Instagram in 2019. Like many other Black business owners, Mitchell said he was looking for ways to invest in his community.
The Houston-based brand’s luxury bags, ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, looked at home next to Gucci or Louis Vuitton with their bold logos and accents, and Moore’s videos featured celebrities such as Jamie Foxx and DJ Khaled doing elaborate unboxings: peeling through layers of wrapping to reveal an Isaac & Moore bag, which in each case was accepted with praise and thanks.
Mitchell, the 33-year-old owner of a trucking company in Houston, was impressed to see a Black man finding success in fashion and felt a connection to Moore as a fellow entrepreneur. He said he reached out to Moore online and bought a bag for his wife’s birthday. Mitchell said he asked Moore why he wasn’t developing his business on a larger scale, to which he claimed Moore replied he needed more capital to grow.
Mitchell told HuffPost that looking back, “it seemed he was kind of guiding the conversation in that direction.”
Over the next few days, Mitchell said, he invited Moore over to his home and the two began having conversations about Mitchell investing in the Isaac & Moore brand.Mitchell said he entered into a handshake agreement with the fashion designer after Moore asked him for an investment of $40,000, and in return, Mitchell said he was promised 20% ownership of the company and responsibilities over marketing.
According to Mitchell, he was supposed to get his money back within a year of his investment, after Moore had purchased inventory and sold it. But after weeks without getting the leadership responsibilities he said he was promised or any answers from Moore, Mitchell confronted the designer and asked for his money back.
According to a phone conversation between Moore and Mitchell in October 2020, a recording of which was reviewed by HuffPost, when Mitchell asked when he would receive his $40,000, Moore apologized for the lack of communication and asked him to wait longer, promising bigger opportunities and an upcoming brand collaboration with actor and comedian Nick Cannon.Those never materialized either, and, according to Mitchell, Moore continued to ignore numerous calls, texts and social media messages.
“I was going to use that money to purchase a home, to put it as a down payment for me and my family,” Mitchell told HuffPost. “So I got to deal with daily my kids asking me, ‘Hey, when are we going to get a house? When are we going to get the house?’”
In an interview with HuffPost, Moore acknowledged that Mitchell had helped him financially but wouldn’t confirm or deny the specifics of their arrangement, saying only that “it wasn’t near what [Mitchell] was talking about.” Public corporate records show Mitchell listed as a manager for Isaac and Moore LLC as of March 2, 2020, and that he was removed eight months later. A friend of Mitchell’s, Jenne Moore, who is not related to Isaac Moore,also told HuffPost she recalled Mitchell telling her about the investment after he made it, and then his struggle to recoup the money.
Mitchell said he later learned that Moore was accused of defrauding more than a dozen people, many of them also self-made Black business owners. Seven of them talked to HuffPost, sharing copies of wire transactions, recorded conversations, text logs and copies of emails with local authorities. They said they were tricked and charmed into trusting Moore after he asked them to invest in his company, in some cases as business partners and in others to front costs for producing bags. The alleged victims told HuffPost he won them over with stories of how he’d built a seemingly flourishing fashion brand and relationships with major celebrities in spite of his humble beginnings. The seven people who spoke to HuffPost say they collectively gave him almost $275,000 but allege they never received their end of the bargain.
I’m just doing what I need to do to market my business to get my name out there.Isaac Moore
At least two of the people who spoke to HuffPost have filed police reports, and one of them has also filed a class-action lawsuit, which she hopes others will join. In May, Harris County authorities issued an arrest warrant on suspicion of theft and fraud for Moore, who turned himself in to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Houston on May 18 and was released on $10,000 bond the next day. On July 24, a grand jury indicted him on one felony count of theft, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office’s consumer fraud division is continuing to investigate. A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office declined to comment on the ongoing investigation and how many potential victims there might be.
Each of the people who talked to HuffPost said they felt Moore had played on their desire to support a fellow Black business owner.
“I personally feel like he targets our community specifically because we’re basically underdogs,” Mitchell said. “Have you ever been overlooked and finally you finally start, begin to get recognition and a little bit of recognition and then now you’re just like, oh, man, now this is empowering. I want to pull other people up as well.”
In an interview with HuffPost, Moore said he believed the alleged victims were actually targeting him because of his rising fame and the appearance of celebrity connections. He characterized the people who accused him of fraud as unhappy customers and the problems they documented as the result of his manufacturing and shipping operations not keeping pace with his successful marketing.
“These people target me, they come to me, I’m the target. … I don’t have a list of different people who I’m going after, I don’t even know their finances,” Moore said. “These people come to me. I curated this. I go out here and attach my name to these different celebrities to give them my bags, and these people [are] looking at me because they want to be a part of that.”
Many of the investors said they were initially won over by Moore’s unboxing videos, also referred to as the “box experience,” in which the fashion mogul’s team surrounds a celebrity orother individual at a charity event or other celebration and gives them one of his bags inside an over-the-top gold box decorated with their achievements. In each video, the celebrities look shocked and surprised by Moore’s gift.
The videos that show him standing beside and celebrating prominent figures helped build his reputation. Investors told HuffPost they saw Moore as generous and legitimate because of his associations with celebrities, including rap legend Master P and actor Hilary Swank.
Representatives of Cannon, DJ Khaled and Swank did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment. A photo posted to the Isaac & Moore Instagram page in April shows Moore and Master P hugging as the rapper wears one of the brand’s backpacks. In an email to HuffPost, a spokesperson for Master P, whose real name is Percy Miller, said he does not know Moore and that the two have not done business together.
“The pieces you saw on stage were the extent of any interaction Mr. Miller and [Moore] had,” the statement said. “Mr Miller did not know who he was and was handed a backpack.”
After a charity baseball game last year, Moore gave Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx his very own box experience. In a posted video, a crowd gathers around Foxx, some with professional camera equipment and others recording on their phones, as Moore presents him with a wrapped box. People ooh and aah as Foxx reveals the gold box engraved with his achievements, opening it to finally unwrap a black leather backpack from Moore’s Black Lives Matter collection. “Appreciate it,” Foxx says, fist-bumping Moore.
Foxx and his representative did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment regarding his relationship with the brand.
According to a 2022 Isaac & Moore press release, the brand prides itself on creating a “celebrity craze” for its products, mentioning names such as Megan Thee Stallion and Drake. A representative for Megan did not respond to HuffPost, and a representative for Drake declined to comment.
Moore emphasized to HuffPost that he has no affiliation with the celebrities featured on his social media accounts and website, and described the box experiences he gave them as part of his marketing strategy.
“I don’t have no kind of affiliation with those people. That was part of my marketing strategy to give those people my product, just to create a buzz and things of that nature,” he said.
“I did it for a copious amount of celebrities, you know, some celebrities call me to want an experience, and some people we just got in contact with. And we met with them. And we give those bags to those different individuals. And that’s how you build a brand,” Moore continued.
He acknowledged that might lead people to believe he has greater connections to celebrities than he actually does.
“You know, it’s a lot of assumptions because of how it looks, and people take it to their own views without knowing what it actually is,” he said. “That’s what I don’t like.”
Yet most people who spoke to HuffPost said Moore had shown them videos of him interacting with celebrities as evidence of how successful his business was as he allegedly sought money from them.
“I’m just doing what I need to do to market my business to get my name out there. You understand what I’m saying? So, yes, these people was interested,” Moore said.
Across social media, where he has more than 100,000 followers, Moore presents himself as a socialite, attending celebrity parties, with paparazzi shooting photos of him. In interviews, he’s touted his financial and social success, even giving himself the nickname “The Fashion Assassin.”
It’s a long way from the poverty and homelessness the 38-year-old has said he grew up in, crediting his passion for his work with allowing him to overcome obstacles. In an interview with the music and entertainment company Dirty Glove Bastard posted to YouTube in June 2022, Moore said he grew up in Houston’s 3rd Ward and recalled his desire to be different from everyone else. He started developing an interest in fashion around the time of his high school prom as he aimed to stand out from the crowd.
“I love loud things and stuff like that, so I’ve always been a person that stands out,” Moore said in the video.
In 2012, he said he began to seriously pursue launching his own brand, adding that he had never seen a Black American dominate in the fashion industry.
“That’s when I started taking it serious, because it’s a lot of great designers, but it’s not a lot of big brands. Black America is really behind what’s really influenced the whole culture,” Moore said in the video.
In the interview, Moore described producing his first bag, a backpack, in 2017, which he used to promote his brand around the Houston area until it caught the attention of rapper Meek Mill. Mill took the bag, the only one Moore had of this design, and gave the brand a shoutout, Moore said. (A representative for Mill didn’t answer questions from HuffPost.) Moore claimed that after the celebrity attention, he made $120,000 in a single day — creating demand that he simply couldn’t keep up with.
“I had to refund so much money back because I only had one bag, so I ain’t know about no production, I ain’t know about no shipping and things like that, so I had to learn on the go,” Moore said in the video.
“I’m still figuring out how to do it because it’s going so fast,” he added.
A year later, as former investors, customers and authorities have accused him of theft, Moore denied any criminal wrongdoing and again suggested his business was simply experiencing growing pains.
“I’m very at the beginning stages of my business,” Moore told HuffPost, describing delays in getting products because of lengthy shipping and manufacturing times. “So I don’t know the ins and outs of it, but my marketing strategy put me on a level [to] surpass my preliminary stages of my business because people thought I’m just already out there, and not having a product.”
Jodi Lewis, who says she lost the $20,000 she invested with Moore, has filed a civil lawsuit and organized other alleged victims to seek accountability against the man who they say took their money.
Jodi Lewis, who owns her own public relations and marketing company, said that she, like Mitchell, was drawn to Moore because of her desire to support her community. According to a contract dated March 18, 2022, that she shared with HuffPost, she invested $20,000 into the production, promotion and sale of Moore’s “Space City” collection, which eventually launched this year.
“I think that for Black entrepreneurs like myself, we know the struggle. We know how hard it is to make things work. We’ve had to come from the bottom. No one’s ever invested $20,000, $30,000, $100,000 into my business,” Lewis said.
“So when he comes to somebody like me, I can feel his struggle. I can feel the pain. I can feel, ‘My God, if I had this support, the possibilities for my company would’ve been endless,’” Lewis continued.
According to the contract, in return for her investment, Lewis would receive $225 per bag of up to 200 bags sold. But instead of the $45,000 yield she hoped for, Lewis said she never received any money nor any receipts that showed the bags were in production or being shipped. She told HuffPost that after Moore took her money, she received only excuses for why he didn’t make good on their contract. Moore denied to HuffPost that Lewis was an investor, referring to her instead as a customer who was interested in being involved in his fashion show.
Frustrated, Lewis had her lawyer, Chelsea Lewis, who is not related, call Moore to convince him to give her money back. According to Jodi Lewis, that’s when she found out Moore wasn’t who she thought he was — and that she wasn’t the first person to accuse him of wrongdoing.
In trying to contact Moore, Chelsea Lewis discovered that Moore, whose legal name is spelled Isaca Moore, had two active criminal cases.
In one Harris County case, a woman named Rosa Ruffin said she spent $13,000 on bags that she never received.
“These are allegations; these are not convicted charges. These are just charges, and it’s so easy nowadays to get charges,” Moore told HuffPost. “You know, if I say that you did something to me, and I file charges on you and they find probable cause, any kind of sense of things like that, you have a warrant for your arrest.”
He added that the Ruffin matter should have been a civil case.
“I don’t know why these things are criminal charges,” he said. “It’s supposed to be a civil matter. It’s supposed to be worked out, you know, through the courts.”
According to receipts reviewed by HuffPost, on May 25, 2021, Ruffin bought two Isaac & Moore bags for a total of $9,500. She made a purchase of $3,500 for two more bags on June 16, 2021, and continued to message one of Moore’s representatives to schedule a box experience for August 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama.
According to Ruffin, the bags never came. Both the representative and Moore allegedly deflected her requests with excuses and eventually blocked her phone number and blocked her on social media, according to messages reviewed by HuffPost.
Moore was charged with felony theft in connection with Ruffin’s complaint, and the case remains pending.
“After further investigation, I discovered additional and similar theft incidents regarding the defendant and his personally owned company, Isaac & Moore, where the defendant used the same method of operation and took money for services never rendered,” an assistant district attorney wrote in a 2021 court filing.
Moore ended up giving away bags like the ones Ruffin had ordered in unboxing experiences that were documented on social media. She wondered if they were the ones she had paid for.
“It does feel like a slap in the face when my life changes because of you being a predator and you showcase a lifestyle of no regret or no care and no remorse,” Ruffin told HuffPost.
Moore told HuffPost that one of the bags was delivered to Ruffin but that the second bag she ordered took three months to make because of manufacturing errors.
We only wanted to do good business and support a fellow Black business owner.Jodi Lewis
Moore said Ruffin grew frustrated about the wait and asked for her money back, but he refused, saying he was “in the very preliminary stages” of his business and could not give back $13,000, adding that he was remaking the product.
After Lewis found Ruffin’s complaint and got in touch with her in January, Ruffin connected her with six other people who said they’d had similar experiences. Lewis then began to uncover more about Moore’s business dealings and said she made it her personal mission to get everyone’s money back and warn others.
She took what she’d found to Instagram-based celebrity and trending news outlet The Shade Room, which in January posted a video highlighting the experiences of three people. Since then, Lewis says that at least 18 more people have gotten in touch with her, creating a group of alleged victims to seek accountability against the man who they say took their money.
But with her efforts have come accusations that she’s just trying to take a Black man down.
Since Moore’s arrest and release on bail, Lewis said she’s been harassed, with one fan of the designer posting angry screeds on Instagram about her and even telling followers to show up at her home address, according to screenshots reviewed by HuffPost.
“Unfortunately, what sucks is that we’ve done nothing wrong. We only wanted to do good business and support a fellow Black business owner,” Lewis said.
But with Harris County consumer fraud investigators taking up the case, Lewis, who allegedly lost $20,000, said she feels hopeful that she and the other investors will get justice. In May, she also filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of herself and all other impacted parties, accusing Moore of negligence and causing emotional distress. She told HuffPost by her estimate, others who have tried to do business with Moore have lost more than $500,000.
Anthony Beverley says he lost $170,000 over the course of his professional relationship with Moore.
Lewis’ attorney, Chelsea Lewis, is also representing Anthony Beverley, and told HuffPost the 48-year-old Philadelphia man intends to take part in the civil lawsuit. Beverley, a self-made millionaire who worked in health care and real estate, told HuffPost that he lost $171,000 over the course of his professional relationship with Moore, who he said squeezed money out of him by making empty promises, flaunting associations with celebrities like 50 Cent and playing on Beverley’s desire to invest in a Black-owned business.
(In an email, a spokesperson for 50 Cent told HuffPost they have “zero idea” who Moore is and the two have not collaborated. A video showing the rapper accepting a bag from Moore appears to have been taken at a public event.)
Moore acknowledged that Beverley had invested in his company and said he stopped responding to Beverley after they disagreed about the terms of their arrangement.
Beverley said he met Moore through a mutual friend at a party in Atlanta in June 2021. The two exchanged numbers, and Beverley said he was interested in buying two Isaac & Moore bags. He claims Moore later reached out to him to invest in his company.
“He showed me all his videos from all the parties and the celebrities. He’s doing this box experience with these celebrities and told me that they were buying his bags,” Beverley said. “They’re selling really fast, and he’s looking for a business partner to help him expand in business.”
Beverley said he was excited to work closely with Moore after hearing about his background and his rise to become a successful business owner.
“I was homeless as well for many years. I scrapped metal. I’ve walked around, sold DVDs, trying to make ends meet … because the real estate market was really slow at the time,” Beverley said.
Beverley said he did not lose all his money at once. He alleges Moore originally asked him for $175,000 and told him that the money invested into the company would be used to purchase materials to produce 600 bags.
According to the promissory note, signed by Moore and dated July 9, 2021, Beverley was promised a return on his investment of $700 per bag sold, after he invested a total of $70,000.
Beverley claims he initially wired Moore $12,000 about a week after meeting him. After that, Beverley said Moore asked him to fly from his home in Philadelphia to Texas, where Beverley was added to Moore’s business account to make it easier for him to track his money. Moore expected to make a return on Beverley’s investment within the month of receiving the initial $12,000, according to the promissory note.
Speaking to HuffPost, Moore said it was “absurd” that Beverley expected payment within the month.
After being added onto the business account, Beverley said he made an additional $63,000 deposit, feeling comfortable that he could keep an eye on his money.
Beverley said Moore then gave him his very own box experience — giving him the bag he’d been eyeing when they first met — as another way to make him feel at ease. Photos show a decorated, custom box with Beverley’s name in gold, and underneath that “The Real Estate Tycoon.” Inside the box was a bag from Isaac & Moore’s Black Lives Matter collection.
“He had his whole team sitting down, his driver. He had his cameraman following me with the camera, hyping me up, making me feel like this is going to be good,” Beverley said.
According to Beverley, the next time he and Moore met in person was in New York in July 2021. He claims he gave the fashion designer a total of $96,000 in cash to go toward producing more bags.
I couldn’t get in contact with him. I see no invoices or anything. That’s when my heart just dropped.Anthony Beverley
While in New York, Moore took Beverley to an expensive dinner and showed him a luxury hotel room, where they shot a promotional video for the fashion brand. In the video, Beverley can be seen next to a large amount of cash on top of a bed.
After they finished the video, Beverley told HuffPost he deposited $91,000 of the cash in his personal account, which was later wired to the shared business account. Beverley then gave Moore an additional $5,000 in cash, which he said Moore claimed he needed immediately.
About two weeks after the shoot, Beverley traveled again to Houston, where he said Moore showed him a storefront and asked Beverley to invest $1 million. It had been about a month since Beverley initially invested, and he said he was beginning to lose his patience about not getting any receipts for materials purchased or seeing the promised return. He said he asked Moore when he would receive his money, to which the designer offered only excuses and promises of future payment.
Moore told HuffPost that there had been a miscommunication and that he never agreed to a monthly time frame to pay back Beverley, who had financed part of his investment through a loan.
“He gave me what he gave me. And he had wanted me to take care of his debt on top of [giving] him more money,” Moore said. “And I didn’t agree with that. I disagree with that.”
Beverley contacted a lawyer, who attempted to negotiate getting Beverley his money back. However, Moore kept delaying and said the shipment for the completed bags was slowed due to the pandemic, according to Beverley.
According to audio of a conference call between Moore, Beverley and Beverley’s previous attorney, Moore agreed to begin making regular payments so Beverley could recoup some of the money — at least enough to make payments on his loan — and Beverley said Moore then wired $3,000 to the attorney, who passed it on to Beverley. However, the promised monthly payments never came through, Beverley said, and Moore then stopped responding to him.
After that, Beverley said he went to check in at the bank holding the business account he believed he had shared with Moore. But, he said, the bank told him that only Moore, the primary account holder, could make withdrawals and that Beverley’s name had been removed.
By that point, the account was overdrawn by $232, according to Beverley. The credit union holding the account did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
“I could not believe it. I couldn’t get in contact with him. I see no invoices or anything. That’s when my heart just dropped,” Beverley said.
Moore told HuffPost that he took Beverley off the account because Beverley was asking for a return on his investment after a month, which Moore disagreed with. He added that the money in the business account had all gone toward business expenses.
Beverley said that since losing his investment, he has felt immense stress.
“It’s been extremely difficult for me and my wife. I have bills I got to pay. I have over 450 employees. It has not been a good ride. It hurts so, so bad,” he said.
Since the civil suit was filed, Chelsea Lewis said Moore has expressed a desire to resolve matters with Beverley and Jodi Lewis. However, the attorney said there has been a lack of communication with Moore’s attorney.
“This isn’t the first time that he suggested he was going to pay money to resolve the claims that are against him and then he just disappears right off the map,” Chelsea Lewis said.
She added that the pattern of alleged fraud and theft creates an ongoing risk for others who might try to do business with him, calling him a “Black man preying on Black people.”
Reuben Cartwright, who is listed as Moore’s attorney, declined to comment. Another individual who Moore said was his attorney also declined comment.
Moore was inspired by his Houston roots to create the Space City collection, and he blamed its disappointing launch on bad publicity.
By the time Jodi Lewis, Ruffin and Beverley were realizing the scope of the alleged scam, Moore was asking Katrishca “Crissy” Barker, a restaurant franchise owner, to sponsor the fashion show to launch his Space City collection. According to Barker, she paid $17,000 in event costs, but Moore failed to come through on the 3,000 people he allegedly promised would attend.
Moore told HuffPost that he successfully fulfilled all parts of their contract, which included showcasing her pizza franchise’s name in advertisements and at the event.
A contract dated Jan. 7, 2023, shows Barker agreed to give $8,500 for the sponsorship, which would showcase her restaurant and skin care line to about 3,000 people, including celebrities. However, according to Barker, the costs increased to $30,000 as Moore continued to ask for her help to pay for the event’s sound, lights and storage so he could focus on producing bags that would be presented to members of the Los Angeles Rams football team.
Barker now questions whether Moore ever made a deal with the Rams, admitting that she and her husband were too trusting. Beverley had also claimed that Moore had mentioned that he was in communication with someone on the NFL team.
The LA Rams didn’t respond to questions from HuffPost.
Not long after the Barkers agreed to sponsor the event, Lewis was getting more vocal on social media about her allegations against Moore. Barker said she and her husband grew deeply concerned and called their new business partner to talk.
“People in this community know who we are. I don’t do bad business. I operate in integrity. We’re community assets,” Barker said. “We give back to the community. So why the hell would I want my name attached to something where somebody is a scammer?”
Barker claims Moore described Lewis as a “deranged stalker” out to defame him and continued to flaunt his celebrity connections, in person and over the phone, to reassure her as he pushed her to continue to fund the fashion show. She told HuffPost that in one of the meetings with Moore, he brought out his phone to FaceTime hip-hop icon Flavor Flav.
“He had even called Flavor Flav on FaceTime and had Flavor Flav talk to my husband, and told Flavor Flav, ‘We going to get your ticket, we’re going to have you come down here, make pizza,’” Barker said.
A representative for Flavor Flav told HuffPost that the rapper is not familiar with the Isaac & Moore brand and was not “aware of any details or information about a potential FaceTime video.”
“Flav has no recollection of meeting or knowing this guy at all and certainly no business collaborations or partnerships. He’s not familiar with the brand,” the statement said.
Then The Shade Room posted its video featuring Lewis and other investors who claimed that Moore had scammed them. Barker and her husband arranged to meet him at their restaurant.
She said Moore was cautious when they met and the couple began asking for receipts: documentation and accountability of where their money was going. She said though Moore claimed he had sold 400 tickets out of the 3,000 promised in the contract, he could not produce a single receipt for one.
Barker said Moore continued to make excuses, saying “It’s going to turn around” and showing the couple more videos of him with lavish surroundings to prove he was running a legitimate operation. According to Barker, one of the videos was the promotional video Moore and Beverley had made together.
In the end, Barker said she was able to reverse about $10,000 in event-related charges and have 10 bags that had been meant for the showcase delivered to her home. She then tried to sell the bags back to Moore to recoup some of the remaining money she believed she was owed.
According to a phone conversation between Moore and Barker on the day of the event, Moore agreed to meet her to facilitate a deal.
Instead, Barker told HuffPost, she met with Moore’s associate and gave her eight of the bags. The associate sent her $3,000 via CashApp and wrote a $7,000 check — which Barker said bounced when she attempted to cash it. Messages between them show the associate stopped the check payment after they disagreed about whether it should be for eight bags or all 10.
The Space City event took place on Feb. 5 — nine months after Moore had promised it would in a contract with Jodi Lewis — and videos and photos from the event show a crowd of about 200 to 300 people. Moore acknowledged to HuffPost the launch was not to his expectations, and he blamed Lewis and others for casting a negative light on him and his brand.
“You know, the only problem is I didn’t do this fashion show when I was supposed to do it,” Moore told HuffPost. “Because I’m a creator, I’m a designer, so if it’s not going to be exactly how I create it to be or how I want it to be, I’m going to push it back, because presentation is everything for me, obviously, because I do these wonderful box experience and things like that by experiences.”
“See, when you develop any type of product, when you develop a car, when you develop anything, it takes time, because the idea comes from whoever has it in their mind, and the person [who] is manufacturing [it] or the people, [they’re] not going to get it right all the time.”
Moore added it took him longer than expected to get his product due to shipping and manufacturing, which he communicated to those who put money into producing the event.
Moore said he has not sold a single bag in the last five months.
In May, Beverley received a call from Blake Enax, an attorney representing three people who purchased a storage unit at auction in Katy, Texas, that held over 400 Isaac & Moore handbags and a card with Moore’s contact information.
Enax, who is not representing Moore or any of the alleged victims, told HuffPost his clients wanted him to facilitate a deal by calling anyone who might be interested in purchasing the handbags at discounted prices so they could be rid of them.
Enax first contacted Moore on May 24, but Moore offered the attorney’s clients a “significantly lower” price than what they believed the storage unit was worth.
Moore told HuffPost the bags were abandoned because he did not have enough money to move his product out of the storage unit because of the negative publicity he attributes to Jodi Lewis.
“I had over 300-, 400-thousand dollars’ worth of product in my storage. I ain’t have enough money to pay $2,000 to get my products out of my own storage because of the facts of what’s going on. Now, my storage has got an auction,” Moore said.
After reaching out to several pawnshops and other retailers who were uninterested in buying the Isaac & Moore bags, Enax decided to call Beverley after learning about the allegations he’d made against Moore.
“I’ll be honest, I called a lot of pawnshops. I called a lot of handbag places, and everyone would be like, ‘No, we’re not interested,’” Enax said. “And that’s pretty much why we had to go outside the box and go, ‘Hey, maybe someone would want to recoup their losses by reselling the bags themselves.’”
But Beverley was done being in the Isaac & Moore business, even at the wholesale price the attorney offered.
“My wife was like, ‘No, we could burn that shit. We don’t want it,’” he said. “You know, I’m saying because of what he did to us.”
Instead, the alleged victims are looking for ways to grow from their experience with each other. Ruffin called it “connecting in chaos.”
According to Ruffin, some have gathered regularly over Zoom in order to navigate their experience and grow their businesses through networking with each other.
“I’m trying to help several of the entrepreneurs to make some smart investments with me so they can make some money back, and they can finally trust someone that’s of our culture,” Beverley said.
“Some of us have traveled to see each other. I have some of the victims that are even asking for some business services for their own companies now,” Lewis said. “So we’ve created a really cool community of people and support.”
Moore is due back in court on Sept. 28, and according to attorney Chelsea Lewis, they are still trying to serve Moore with the civil lawsuit. According to an email from a professional civil process server, Moore evaded the server during his July 27 court hearing.
Whatever happens next, the investors who spoke with HuffPost said they’re looking for the upside.
“We want him to be accountable, but we want him to know like, yeah, you seem to have selected the right people, and we’re still going to grow and grow,” Ruffin said “We found comfort in being able to call each other.”
Language in this story has been updated to clarify how contact between Beverley and Moore ended.