The owner of a roofing company in Port St. Lucie, Fla., has been arrested on charges of taking money from customers but never completing the work agreed upon in their contracts.
Fox-affiliated WFLX reports that Carl Aaron of Okeechobee, Fla., owner of Southern Roof Systems, was arrested in May on a felony charge of a contractor failing to perform work. The Port St. Lucie Police also have an active warrant to arrest Aaron again on a larceny charge.
A police report states a woman in Port St. Lucie hired Southern Roof Systems last August for a roof replacement, paying Aaron a $4,200 deposit. The report states Aaron claimed he would get a permit to start the job right away and deposited the check into a business account. According to the police report, no work took place for months. When the customer requested a refund, she learned that the company was no longer operating. As of June 27, when searching for the company online, it is listed as "temporarily closed."
Further investigations revealed Aaron’s wife, Nancy Aaron, who helps run the business, said a loan would need to be taken out to complete the jobs or refund clients due to finances “not being properly managed.” Reports indicate Southern Roof Systems owes subcontractors and suppliers thousands of dollars, including $137,999.18 to Extreme Metal Fabricators and $143,794.39 to Beacon Building Products.
Police arrested Carl Aaron on charges of engaging in a business contract and obtaining payment for contracted work but not applying for the necessary permits, and then not refunding the customer at their request.
NBC-affiliated WPTV spoke with Nancy and Tom Barkheimer of Hobe Sound, who filed a complaint with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office related to similar issues with Southern Roof Systems. They wanted to replace a shingle roof with a metal roof in August 2021, agreeing to an $18,000 project and paying a nearly $5,000 deposit.
Nancy Barkheimer said the work was supposed to begin within six weeks of the agreement. Weeks became months, until in November the company showed up to tear off the roof.
"The mess they created was unbelievable," Nancy Barkheimer told WPTV.
Despite this, the couple paid another check, totaling roughly $12,000. The company never came back to install the roof, and subcontractors have shown up at their house asking for payment. The couple is waiting to see if their case will lead to criminal charges.
Both WPTV and WFLX report that Carl Aaron didn’t show up for his arraignment last week on the felony charge. When reached for comment, he referred the news stations to his attorney, who hasn’t returned the requests.