Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday sued the owners of FWS, a Buffalo-based furniture retailer.

The lawsuit is on the behalf of western New York consumers, who stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in advance payments they made to the company.

FWS went out of business in mid-October, leaving consumers who made advance payments for merchandise without either their furniture or refunds. Consumer losses are estimated to be $160,000-250,000.

An investigation into the closing of the furniture retailer by the Attorney General’s office revealed that FWS required customers to make advance payments on merchandise and did not keep those payments in separate accounts. Instead, FWS spent them.

The Attorney General’s office estimated that FWS, at the time it closed, had 700 open orders on which consumers made advance payments of more than $420,000.