The Big Sleep for used mattress co.

You made your bed now lie in it.

After reports from The Bronx Times Reporter, the city has shut down an illegal used mattress company in Van Nest that was still operating despite a court order to stop.

The latest news comes amid a separate state investigation that began early this year.

A padlock now fastens the chain-link fence at S.M. Bedding, the mattress firm headquartered at 1609 Van Buren St., a dead end street peppered with two-story houses.

Investigators with the city Department of Consumer Affairs raided the bed warehouse after finding workers still refurbishing used beds and selling them.

Records indicate S.M. Bedding faced a backlog of fines for doing business without a secondhand dealer license.

DCA summoned company owners to court on Sept. 11th to answer charges of skirting regulations, though no company representative showed up. A judge slapped the company with $11,400 in fines for unlicensed activity. The company will remain shut until it gets its paperwork and fines in order.

Legal Troubles

Proceedings began after a months-long check into the mattress company, which neighbors said has been hauling mattresses to the dingy warehouse for years.

“DCA has inspected S.M. Bedding four times since May,” said DCA spokeswoman Abby Lootens. “Each time [we issued] them a violation for selling secondhand goods without a license.”

The most recent violation was issued on Sept. 30 – and ignored. The city agency began scrutinizing the company shortly after the state Department of State, in charge of issuing LLC licenses, launched a separate probe.

In July, the state re-issued a new license to the company, which flew under the radar for the past eight years. It still doesn’t erase the probe, which DOS spokesman Laz Benitez maintains is still open. A decision will be handed down shortly.

Moving Forward

The shutdown now puts S.M. Bedding to bed for now. For years, workers picked up rancid spring mattresses around the borough, later scrubbing them down outside their makeshift warehouse.

Building records show Jean Claude Limited Holdings Corporation as the current building owner, which also rents space out to Appliance Pros, a furniture repair company unrelated to S.M. Bedding.

Inside the dark depot, a stack of clean twin and queen-size mattresses can be seen wrapped in plastic. In a tiny office, a worker was seen stiching wool material to become the re-used bed’s outer layer.

While there is a market for used bedding, DOS said handlers are required to clean thrifty beds with a special chemical approved by the state Department of Health to dis-infect and eradicate any germs. It’s unclear whether workers had used the chemical.

The Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance has demanded an investigation for the past several years. The group’s president, Shradhanand Pirtam, is suspicious of the bed company regardless of whether it has its license.

“One of the neighbors complained they were getting bed bugs,” said the group’s president, Shradhanand Pirtam.

There was no phone number listed for S.M. Bedding.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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