COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — Lawsuits and ripple effects to vendors are piling up following the abrupt pre-Thanksgiving shutdown of a furniture company owned by a businessman with Columbus ties.

But Central Ohio real estate projects and charitable initiatives of David Belford are not affected by troubles of his out-of-state business, United Furniture Industries Inc., according to an exclusive statement to Columbus Business First.

“I am devastated by the turn of events that led to management’s difficult decision to close the doors of United Furniture Industries, a company built with thousands of dedicated associates over a span of 35 years,” Belford’s statement said. “It is agonizing.”

Belford is best known in Central Ohio as a prominent philanthropist. He and his wife co-founded Flying Horse Farms, which operates camps for children with serious illnesses. Belford is listed as a board member emeritus while his wife, Jenni Belford, continues to serve as a director.

The family also donated $10 million to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to promote research into life after a spinal cord injury.

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