For the most part, roofing contractors make headlines for the right reasons, whether it’s helping families, offering advice to homeowners or donating to charities. Unfortunately, there are those that make headlines for the wrong ones.
The following roofing contractors were among those who made headlines across the country in February by attempting to scam others. Thankfully, some of these unscrupulous contractors have been caught, making room for honest contractors to step in and help.
Kansas Contractor Connected to Fraud and Forgery
Kansas law enforcement are investigating a man who is said to have committed fraud and forgery. According to the Hays Post, William Tarpein, 42, of Salina, Kan., is an independent contractor who was working on jobs for Kape Roofing and Exteriors Inc.
Tarpein conducted typical roofing business, including job site visits, giving estimations and purchasing materials. However, law enforcement states he also took payments but didn’t provide those payments to Kape Roofing. He allegedly passed falsified checks at local banks as well. The total amount lost is said to be around $70,000.
Police arrested Tarpein on requested charges including forgery, theft by deception, theft and giving worthless checks.
Convicted Bank Robber in Utah Arrested in Roofing Scam
A Utah man who served prison time for a bank robbery and making a bomb has been arrested again, this time for an alleged roofing scam.
According to KSL.com, Curtis Troy Crosby, 36, was recently booked into Cache County Jail related to an investigation of theft of services. A police affidavit states a Cache County woman entered into a contract with Crosby in June 2020 to have her roof repaired following hail damage it sustained in the previous spring. She paid Crosby $3,400 for the job.
In the following five months, Crosby never returned to start the work. The woman contacted him 16 times during that time period, and each time he would avoid her questions or make excuses as to why he couldn’t repair the roof at the time, the police affidavit states.
The affidavit says on Nov. 10, Crosby called the woman to say he “had fallen into his old ways” and had taken advantage of her and spent the money. The woman recorded this phone call. However, when police interviewed Crosby, he claimed he did nothing wrong.
This isn’t the first run-in Crosby has had with the law. In September 2015, he entered a bank in Salt Lake City and gave an employee a note demanding money, followed by showing the employee “some sort of explosive device,” KSL.com reports. He was arrested a few days after the incident and convicted of robbery and possession of a hoax weapon. He was sentenced to serve one to 15 years in Utah State Prison.
BBB Reports Complaints Against Texas Contractors are Rising
Following a historic weather event leading to burst pipes and flooded homes for many residing in Texas, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning that scammers are out in force.
In a story from ABC-affiliated WFAA, the BBB of North Central Texas said complaints against contractors were up 5% last year. The story focused on one individual in particular, Don Childers of The Don Childers Group LLC, who has allegedly ripped off multiple people, including a roofing contractor who was subcontracted by Childers.
“I did a roofing job for him as one of his (subcontractors) and he never did pay me,” Edward Cuellar told WFAA.
The story also highlights how Texas doesn’t regulate licensing, only requiring a state-level license for HVAC, plumbing, well drilling and fire sprinkler systems. Legislative efforts to license roofers in Texas have been unsuccessful, such as House Bill 2101 introduced in 2019. Thankfully, consumers seem to be catching on. WFAA reports consumers web queries on the BBB North Central Texas site were up 11% for the home improvement industry, from 801,263 in 2019 to 895,652 in 2020.
The BBB in various states issued warnings to homeowners to be on the lookout for potential scammers when looking for someone to inspect their roof.