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eShowings back in business, some employees still not paid for final week's work

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Wilmington call center is back in business after employees say they were lied to and then laid off without their final paychecks.

The new CEO of Delaware-based eShowings calls it a "perfect storm" of things that go could wrong.

She adds the company is pulling through, and trying to salvage the business.

But some former employees say they still have not received their last paychecks after the December 9th closing.

In a statement, eShowings' new CEO Catherine Lanouette says after former CEO Charles Smith was sent to prison earlier this month for pocketing his employees' payroll taxes, the company experienced a robbery of payroll checks in one office, miscommunication to employees and clients, and sabotage to their call center equipment and computer systems in Delaware.

But former employee, Latia Tate tells us Lanouette is actually Charles Smith's wife using her maiden name to fool the media.

"Her name is Catherine Smith not Lanouette.” Tate said. “Lanouette is her maiden name.”

Tate and night shift manager Cara Morgan says after the Wilmington office closed December 9, Lanouette contacted some employee, making it seem that if they went back to work, they would receive their money.

"They have not paid anyone except for the people who have returned, that she paid directly to return. They haven't paid anyone else,” Morgan said.

Morgan was able to find other work in Wilmington, but Tate has not had such luck.

She says she's having a hard time getting unemployment because eShowings had not been reporting her wages in North Carolina.

"(I’m just) trying to find work, but it's not successful, and actually I just got a note on my door from the rental office,” Tate explained. “So, it looks like we'll be homeless for the New Year thanks to eShowings.”

"Tate says without her final paycheck, and no job in sight, she does not know how she and her family will survive this holiday season."

“(I'm going to) try and make the best of it for my kids,” Tate said.

We tried contacting Lanouette, general manager Tomy Kot, the eShowings corporate office and sales department, but we have not heard back.

Morgan says she and other employees are working on a class action lawsuit against the company.

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