There’s an oft-repeated saying about people being bad apples, but the whole saying is as follows: “One bad apple can spoil the barrel.”
In this case, there are contractors who take advantage of people, and in turn not only hurt the victims, but the roofing industry’s reputation as a whole. They often complete shoddy roofing work with low-quality materials, or worse, take a customer’s money and run. However, these scammers don’t always get away with it.
Here are some recent stories from around the country of scammers who were caught, clearing the way for legit roofing contractors to serve their communities.
Tennessee Roofing Contractor Charged with Felony Theft
NBC-affiliated WRCB-TV provided the latest update on a roofing contractor who is accused of stealing $10,900 from victims.
Police in Signal Mountain, Tenn. charged Fred Emmett Holder, Jr., 37, with felony theft. Holder is the former owner of Greenform Construction, and according to police, he received a down payment of $10,900 in April from a customer for a roof replacement. Police say Holder never completed the work, nor did he refund the money.
WRCB-TV previously reported that Holder filed for bankruptcy amid claims that his company collected thousands of dollars from customers, but didn't do any of the work.
"We are finding what appears to be a fraudulent scheme allegedly at this point," Attorney Kimberly Cambron told WRCB.
Roofing Contractor in NY Arrested After Scamming $6K from Victim
Syracuse.com reports that state police arrested a roofing contractor in Oneida County, N.Y. after he took $6,000 for a down payment but never did the work.
Roberto Taylor, 48, of Rome, owns Taylor Construction in Camden. State police said Taylor entered into a contract in June with a homeowner to replace their roof. Taylor received the $6,000 down payment, but no work was completed in the three-and-a-half months following the payment, nor did Taylor make an effort to refund the money.
Taylor is being charged with third-degree grand larceny, a felony.
Montana Roofing Scammer Pleads Guilty to Deception and Forgery
A former roofing contractor in Montana pleaded guilty last week to theft by deception and forgery.
According to the Montana Standard, William “Bill” Lee Dunmire, 47, received a 15-year suspended prison sentence and must repay $21,000 in restitution to his victims. He was initially arrested in June 2019 after allegations that, as the owner/operator of Peak Roofing LLC, didn’t complete roofing work after being paid upfront for two jobs.
Dunmire’s victims included a Butte, Mont. business in need of roof repairs and a resident who paid for a complete roof replacement.
Sentencing of Arkansas Roofing Scammer Delayed
The Baxter Bulletin reports the sentencing of a 31-year-old roofing contractor convicted of three theft charges has been delayed for the fifth time.
John Downing of Mountain Home, Ark. faces a total potential prison sentence of 24 years for four Class D felonies he pleaded guilty to, including the three theft charges and one count of obtaining a signature by fraud. The delay occurred due to prosecutors wanting Downing to provide money to repay his victims. Downing's attorney told the court that he still had not received his tax refund from the federal government. He is to reappear in court on Oct. 15 for sentencing.
Downing, who owns High Bridge Roofing and Construction, was arrested in August 2019 on a theft charge. The charge stems from collecting $2,500 from a victim to install a new roof and never performing the work. Not long after, more theft cases were filed against Downing for similar incidents that resulted in two victims losing $1,700 and $4,700, respectively.
According to the Baxter Bulletin, Downing has a previous criminal record consisting of residential burglary and theft of property.