Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Hundreds of soldiers said they feel betrayed by one of their own.

None of them received the commemorative flags they paid for.

Shelby Cedotal thought the deal sounded great, expertly crafted, glossy wooden flags made by a Tennessee company and owned by a veteran.

He paid for a flag 15 months ago. It still hasn’t arrived.

“This one cuts deep,” said Cedotal.

A News4 I-Team investigation found Cedotal is one of 906 people, many soldiers and veterans, who have filed complaints with the state after not receiving the flags they ordered.

“The volume of complains, nearly a thousand,” said Kevin Walters, spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. “It was overwhelming.”

The state has turned over all the complaints about the Rustic Flag Company from Trenton, TN, to the Attorney General’s Office.

Justin Scott, the owner of the company, is repeatedly under fire on social media.

In Cedotal’s case, he paid $150 for a flag to display the honors from his service.

“Stick to the creed of what you did before when you were a soldier,” Cedotal said when asked what he would say to Scott and his company.

The News4 I-Team repeatedly tried to call and email Rustic Flag Company. The phone number for the company is no longer in service. Scott did not answer calls to his numbers and voice mail had not been set up.

In an email to Cedotal last year, the company wrote, “We are significantly behind on our orders but we are working nonstop to fulfill all orders in our system.”

It’s an excuse a growing number of soldiers are having a hard time accepting.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office said they’re examining the conduct of the company and they intend to make sure customers either receive their order or a full refund.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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