Closed restaurants’ owners ordered before attorney general

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After the Smithfield restaurant known as Faial closed, reopened and then closed for good, the office of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has ordered the owners to meet with them about hundreds of complaints over gift certificates they sold and have not refunded.

In a document known as a Civil Investigative Demand, the attorney general’s office outlined the circumstances about approximately 375 complaints against owners Jose and Emilia Faria regarding the outstanding gift certificates.

“The Consumer Protection Unit has attempted to contact the Defendants by telephone since July 7, 2015 and has only been able to contact their representative,” assistant attorney general Rebecca Partington said in the document.

Now, the couple must appear July 20 with a list of all the outstanding gift certificates they sold, and to whom they were sold.

Last month, Jose Faria — known as Joe — told WPRI.com he and his wife had been in the middle of selling the Smithfield restaurant and its Greenville sister establishment to an East Providence entrepreneur, but he closed prematurely when attorneys could not come to an agreement. He later reopened, and said his 40 employees would be keeping their jobs.