Henderson County, Tennessee (11/17/2022)- A Henderson County, TN trooper stopped a Ford E-350 roofing van on Interstate 40 for traffic violations and then requested to search the vehicle after discovering possible criminal activity. A K-9’s alert prompted further search of the vehicle. Buried under roofing equipment, troopers found two coolers wrapped inside a
blue tarp. Inside the coolers were 6 bundles of cocaine and 1 bundle of eutylone., which is a Schedule 1 drug. The drugs were seized along with $22,080 cash. Juan Vasquez and Lot Barrera, both from Louisville, KY were taken to jail.
A trooper stopped a Ford E-350 van on Interstate 40 in Henderson County on 11/15/22 for traffic violations. The trooper requested permission to search the vehicle and it was granted once he discovered possible criminal activity was taking place. Another trooper arrived on the
Dallas, Texas (10/24/22) – A suspect named by Dallas residents as the “Nail Bandit” has been arrested. At least 30 incidents have been reported of hundreds of nails scattered in major intersections and other high-traffic areas. Neighbors in Preston Hollow picked up over 300 nails, only to find more scattered in the street later. The scattered nails had caused flat tires and increased concerns for safety.
On October 24, Kevin Genter, 45, was arrested by Plano police in connection with a separate deadly conduct incident a few days earlier involving gunshots. The fleeing suspect’s vehicle matched the description of a vehicle seen dropping nails throughout the parking lot of Toyota Headquarters on October 20 and 21. Highland Park and University Park Police have confirmed that Genter is a suspect.
Raleigh, North Carolina– Three defendants were sentenced on Monday, May 3, 2022 for conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States in connection with a fraudulent invoicing scheme that targeted Baker Roofing Company (BRC). Defendants were ordered to pay restitution of $1,850,442 to the company and received the following sentences:
George William Garven, of Clemson, South Carolina, was sentenced to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Robert Andrew Helms, of Indian Trail, North Carolina, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and three years of supervised release.
William Russell Davis, of Waxhaw, North Carolina, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and three years of supervised release.
“These defendants, all of whom are well-educated, successful businessmen, used their positions of privilege to enrich themselves at the victim’s expense,” commented United States Attorney Michael Easley. “Like many white collar offenders, their choices were not born of desperation, but of greed. They thought they were above the law—but today the law caught up with them. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners work tirelessly to ensure that those who cheat Eastern North Carolina businesses face consequences in federal court.”
According to court documents and other information presented in court, the victim, BRC, hired Garven in 2011 to serve as the Vice President and General Manager of its Charlotte branch office. In 2014, Helms and Davis partnered together to provide roofing subcontracting services to BRC through Davis’s business, R&K Davis Holdings (R&K). Between 2015 and 2020, R&K was used as a vehicle to fraudulently bill BRC for subcontracting work that was never performed. Among other things, Garven obligated BRC to pay R&K by generating fake invoices and subcontracts in R&K’s name. The criminal proceeds, were funneled into business bank accounts controlled by Helms and Davis and then disbursed to Garven in various forms, including gift cards and checks. The checks included fraudulent memo lines to make it appear they were related to legitimate business. Garven also directed Helms and Davis to use the embezzled funds to pay contractors to perform work on Garven’s residential properties. In furtherance of the scheme, Garven paid Helms and Davis each approximately $140,000 in cash.
Philadelphia, PA — The District Attorney has charged a roofer in connection to a body that was found in a burning vehicle in a South Philadelphia parking lot.
Luis Cruz, 39, is charged with murder, arson, possession of a firearm, possession of an instrument of crime, obstruction of justice, abuse of corpse and tampering with evidence.
According to District Attorney Larry Krasner, Cruz was a contractor that was hired to do a roofing job for the victim. The victim was unsatisfied with Cruz’s roofing work and refused to pay, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
On January 21, police officers responded to a report of a 2019 Jeep Wrangler that was on fire on the 2700 block of South 3rd Street. Police discovered the body of 43-year-old Joslyn Morgan in the back seat of the burning vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head, police said.
The cause of death was a close-range gunshot wound to the head according to the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office.
On Saturday, Cruz was taken into custody. While being questioned, Cruz confessed to “key details of the crime” and detailed his attempt to dismember the body and destroy the remains, Krasner’s office said.
“This shocking crime required a significant and thoughtful investigation. I thank the Philadelphia Police Department and my office’s Homicide Unit for their expedient and careful work in tracing this murder back to Luis Cruz, who appears to have taken a man’s life over an argument about the quality of his roofing work,” District Attorney Krasner said. “Because of this murder, a man is forever lost to his family and community. In addition to prosecuting this case, my office is working to make sure trauma-informed services and resources are available to the victim’s grieving loved ones.”
A preliminary hearing for Luis Cruz is scheduled for February 12.
LAKE WORTH, Fla. — A Florida roofing contractor is facing attempted murder charges in connection to the stabbing of a co-worker.
According to the arrest report, Jerald Goodwin, a supervisor in an unnamed Florida roofing company, told deputies he came to the construction site and told Stevenson to move his dump truck to another location to collect roof debris. Stevenson refused. When Goodwin called another supervisor, Stevenson attacked him with a knife.
Goodwin was found by deputies with multiple stab wounds. He sustained a deep cut to his abdomen, a slash to a thigh and injuries to his hands. Goodwin was taken to the hospital for treatment
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrested 46-year-old Demarest Stevenson of Pompano Beach.
Scams targeting contractors can come in a variety of forms through email, text, phone, and even social media. Being able to recognize scams and avoid them (or report them) can help save valuable time and money.
There are different types of scams. Some “scams” are from actual businesses, but the services they offer don’t always bring the results you expect. These often deal with marketing, lead generation, websites, gaining social media followers, “updating your Google listing”, and more. If it sounds too good to be true, it often is.
Most scams contractors will encounter are “nuisance scams”. They often come from foreign countries and can be a source of enjoyable reading. The following email wasn’t targeting a contractor, but is an example of a more outlandish scheme someone is trying to pull off.:
Other scams are slightly harder to detect, especially if you have never received one before. I have received numerous requests via text and email through my roofing business. Here is a recent example:
This was sent to my business number, which is found on my ROOFING website. Yes, I am a roofing contractor. Payment details are also available on my website. I have received other generic messages asking if I do roof repair. All of the scam messages ask if I accept credit card. Many make a plea for help- they are sick, disabled, are deaf, have an emergency, etc. If you choose to respond, you should be able to determine rather quickly if the request is legitimate or not. You will need to be discerning and not dismiss every cryptic text or email you receive. I have had local customers who had legitimate roofing needs contact me with vague details. Most legitimate customers will give a more detailed description of their roofing needs along with contact information.
Phone scams are also becoming more popular. Phone numbers can be altered to show up as local numbers on caller ID.
Next, we will document a recent interaction with someone supposedly named “sara E Monk”, who is targeting roofing contractors. Scams similar to this have been reported by local news agencies in the United States and Canada. Some roofers have gone as far as providing full estimates and personal contact details, although I am not aware of any contractors actually losing money through these schemes. Most of the loss is through wasted time and effort in going through the work of providing an estimate and through back-and-forth communications.
The following email was sent to our email address at The Roofer’s Helper. The Roofer’s Helper is a website for roofers. We don’t offer roofing services to homeowners. This scammer saw “roofer” and decided to go for it. I don’t know where these scammers are from, but they are obviously foreign, and may possibly be using a translator to communicate. I always wondered how something like this works, so I decided to play along. If you are curious as to how one of these scammers operates, read on (the screenshots are in order, but some of the email time stamps are not accurate- there must be a discrepancy between my mail server and my phone):
They just bought a house “around me”. There is a business address on our website. They will use this address to find the house they “recently bought” nearby. While the email is vague, it is understandable why a contractor would respond, and at least get more information. Many years ago I responded to the first email I got similar to this because I didn’t know any better (and also was looking for work).
I responded with enthusiasm, including my credentials, but didn’t specify what payments I accept, which is what they really want to know.
They immediately get to the mode of payment. This is critical for things to continue.
They asked if I accepted check or credit card. Why not cash? What contractor doesn’t like cash?
Now that they got an answer to the payment method, they send “the house address”. Their response is obviously cut-and-pasted…3 different ways (different size and type of font)! The house is a legitimate address near me, and is currently for sale.
I decided to have a little fun giving some options before providing and estimate to see how they would respond. (It was raining while I was writing- that part was true). I thought I wouldn’t get a response after that, but…
You will notice throughout these email interactions that the scammer tries to stick with a script. They rarely respond naturally to what I have written, which is obviously ridiculous. My thoughtful and creative options for their roof replacement are ignored. They want me to give a price so they can move ahead with the scam.
I was really curious if they would choose one of those ridiculous choices. I thought the conversation would end here when they looked over those roof options again.
They want a metal roof??? That wasn’t one of the choices!
As all roofers know, metal is a horrible choice for roofing. I already gave two premium choices. Pick one already!
Aaaaargh! Don’t you read????
Time for me to cut and paste.
Well, they researched the options and finally decided to go with the “combestors”. “Combestors“???
We all know the customer is always right. If they want combestors, we give them combestors. To mix things up, I offered to coat the whole roof for a bargain price of $232.89.
I think I shocked them with my affordable pricing. I low-balled the price because I didn’t want to lose the job to a competitor.
DON’T FORGET THE 89 CENTS!!!
They got the method of payment and a price confirmed. Here comes the pitch. Oh, they need a favor! Lung cancer…hospital…out of town…having a problem…need help. I had to go get a box of tissues. A side note: It looks like they got an incredible deal on this house! They said they already paid 85% and that they now only owe $2,000 more. If my math is correct, that would mean that the purchase price of the house is approximately $13,3333.00. The current listed asking price was almost $240k!
This is a perfect example of one of the classic schemes. The scammer will overpay you, and then ask you to wire the difference somewhere. The money they send won’t clear the bank, or may be from a stolen credit card. You end up losing any money you send. Although it is rare, people have fallen for this. Don’t be that person!
I don’t agree to the scam, but do call them out on cheating me of $0.89. I mean, come on!
They ignore my response and want confirmation that I agree to be suckered…I mean agree to help them.
Ok, I don’t want to be too cold-hearted. I’ll help.
I’d rather not give my phone number to you. Can’t we do this through email?
Oops. I think they started to cut and paste the first email again…and accidentally hit “send”. Do I have to start this whole conversation over again??
Ok. I will if I have to.
Guess they didn’t like the content of my last email. Ignored. They are still pressing for my contact info, and of course they want to know I will do a very good job.
I’m getting tired of this and kindly send an email address where they could continue the dialogue. This is the email address the Federal Trade Commission provides to report deceptive emails.
They ignore me and appear to be getting frustrated. Is that anger or disappointment?
Maybe they’ll communicate with our Billing Coordinator, Ima Spam.
Guess they aren’t interested in dealing with Ima.
Last email I sent. Haven’t heard back. Either they decided to contact Ima, or they have given up.
As you can see, these scammers are very persistent, but also very scripted. It’s amazing that the conversation lasted as long as it did. Perhaps some scammers are better communicators than others, making the scam harder to detect. An optimistic person (who only sees the good in others), a generous person, or a contractor desperate for customers, may all be more susceptible to falling for something like this. There’s not a whole lot that can be done other than ignore and/or report these scammers. If you choose to interact with a scammer, do it at your own risk. You may possibly be dealing with someone who won’t appreciate you doing to them what they are trying to do to you.
KENNESAW, GA– A man is accused of scamming an 80-year-old blind woman out of thousands of dollars for roofing work that he never did in Kennesaw, authorities said.
James Taylor, of Dalton, is wanted by Acworth police after allegedly going door to door in a neighborhood on Freedom Landing and offering to do roofing work for the woman, Channel 2 Action News reported. Her home fell under Acworth police’s jurisdiction despite its Kennesaw mailing address.
Police Capt. Mark Cheatham told Channel 2 Taylor has been arrested in the past for similar crimes.
“He has an extensive criminal history for conduct such as this,” Cheatham said.
Taylor told the woman he would clean her gutters, and he later convinced her that her roof needed maintenance, Cheatham told the news station.
He said she wrote one check for $1,080 before Taylor said he made a mistake on the amount and that he would destroy the first check. She then wrote him another check for $1,280.
An arrest warrant obtained by Channel 2 said, “The victim’s family hired a reputable company to inspect the roof and was informed that no repairs had been made.”
Taylor faces several felony charges, including fraud and exploitation of the elderly, the news station reported.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Acworth police at 770-974-1232.
BBC England– Six gang members who carried out substandard or unnecessary roofing work for vulnerable elderly customers have been jailed.
They were found guilty at Teesside Crown Court, along with two other men who were sentenced to community orders.
They had overcharged five men in their 70s, 80s and 90s by thousands of pounds in 2016 and 2017.
Judge Sean Morris said it was a “well-organised fraud that set out to fleece elderly people of their savings”.
The sentences ranged from 12-month community orders to almost four years in jail.
He called Shaun Doyle “one of, if not the, main player” in the gang, describing him as “disgraceful” and a “very unpleasant offender”.
“It is quite clear there was deliberate targeting of them [the victims] because they were very vulnerable, frail, fearful, forgetful, and over-trusting,” he said.
In a statement to court one of the victims, from Thornaby, said he felt he had been “gullible”, the council said.
“I’m disappointed in myself for letting this happen,” the man said.
“They were happy to rip me off; they were so careless in what they did on my roof and I even had to pay for the damage they caused on my neighbour’s roof.”
North Yorkshire County Council trading standards, which investigated the gang, said an 89-year-old Richmond man had been driven to banks in Darlington on three occasions to transfer a total of £17,000.
Police were alerted by a member of the public who overheard the man talking to a bank cashier.
The council said its surveyor called the work “unfit for purpose” and worth just £600.
Householders had been overcharged for “unnecessary, incomplete and inadequate work”, it said.
Police found the gang had targeted four other victims living in Thornaby, Pocklington, York and Rowlands Gill, Gateshead.
Three had paid £18,500, £10,700 and £9,500 but one was stopped from handing over money by neighbours who called the police.
Sentences and charges
James Masterton, 35, of Walnut Place, Newcastle – 12-month community order with unpaid work – money laundering
Andrew Hardy, 32, of no fixed address – three years, three months – money laundering and conspiracy to defraud
George Henry Queen Flannigan, 25, of Stirling Road, Milnathort, Kinross-shire – three years, 11 months – conspiracy to defraud
William Stewart, 23, of Holmelea Travellers’ Site, Elvington, York – two years, nine months – conspiracy to defraud
Shaun Doyle, 33, of Claremont Road, Darlington – three years, five months – conspiracy to defraud
Mark Genery, 39, of Tithe Barn Road, Stockton – two years, nine months – conspiracy to defraud
Graham Thom, 27, of Forglen Crescent, Turriff, Aberdeenshire – one year, 11 months – conspiracy to defraud
Paul Masterton, 67, of Walnut Place, Newcastle – 12-month community order with unpaid work – forgery
Paul Masterton and his son James were also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to the victim in Richmond.
Doyle and Flannigan were given indefinite criminal behaviour orders, preventing them cold calling and carrying out residential work for anyone over 60.