Notorious Colorado Roofing Scammer Sent to Prison

Colorado is filled with excellent roofing contractors who do an excellent job but there are undoubtedly some scammers. Luckily for homeowners those scammers are usually brought to justice as is the case for Jeffery Masias. Colorado Fourth District Federal Judge Gregory Werner sentenced Masias to a four-year prison sentence for taking more than $300,000 from 18 different people with no work performed or intent to perform. The judge declined the defense’s request for probation and chose a sentence between his options of two to six years. Masias had pleaded guilty to felony theft.

Masias took several thousand dollars from Colorado residents over a period of two years for jobs including bathroom remodels, deck maintenance and repair, and roofing. Masias ran his haphazard construction company as Masias’ Innovative RAC and did business under other entities.

The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department revoked Masias’s Innovative RAC’s contractor license in December, 2018 before filing a lawsuit against him in the Fourth Judicial Court for unlicensed work and continued contracting without a license. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also revoked Masias’s accreditation after receiving 17 complaints in a two-year period.

Masias cost dozens across the Pikes Peak Region tens of thousands of dollars including a couple who paid Masias $58,000 for a deck project but were forced to pay another contractor an additional $40,00 to complete it. Masias had made several excuses for the delays and mishaps but the judge wasn’t hearing any excuses handing down the four-year term.

Finding a Reliable Roofing Contractor

It will take years for Masias’s victims to recoup their losses, but you can avoid hiring a scammer by following a few simple steps:

  • Read Online Reviews – Online reviews are a wealth of information on how a company operates. A few bad reviews aren’t cause for alarm but if the company ranks poorly across different review sites – they are no good for your roof.
  • Check Licensing and Insurance – Your roofing contractor must be licensed with your local city and carry liability insurance.
  • Check the BBB – Check that your contractor is accredited with your local BBB. Look for an A+ rating for the most confidence.
  • Get Personal Referrals – Before hiring, ask potential hires for references and referrals. Talk to their previous customers for a unique perspective into how the roofer operates.

Jeffery Masias is a good example of everything that’s wrong in the roofing industry but there are more good guys in roofing than bad. Use the steps above and more to only hire the best roofing contractor.

Books

Richmond, VA Roofer Scam Swindles Residents

The saying goes it only takes on bad apple to spoil the bunch and unfortunately that old adage rings true when it comes to the roofing industry. That’s what residents of Richmond, Virginia are learning about a man who has been scamming local residents for multiple years.

Authorities are now on the search for 55-year old Thomas Taylor who is accused of swindling Richmond residents out of thousands of dollars for roof repairs and other work that is entirely unnecessary. The suspect has hit multiple neighborhoods recently and left homeowners scratching their heads and trying to figure out how they can recoup their losses.

Unfortunately, this not the first time that a roofing scam and even Taylor himself has hit the same neighborhood for a quick buck. “The man comes into the neighborhood periodically and will approach a homeowner and tell them there’s a problem with the gutters or shingles. “If they’re unfamiliar with him or new to the area, often they’ll let him put a ladder to the home and climb onto the roof. He’ll often magnify the extent of the issue,” says Elizabeth Roderick. Roderick is in charge of overseeing the crime watch for Westover Hills Homeowners Association, a neighborhood that has been repeatedly preyed upon by Taylor.

Taylor will often hand over a business care to give the illusion that he is licensed and experienced though he will often make up issues with a home’s roof and gutters to make the “fix” and walk away with the homeowner’s money.

There are multiple ways that homeowners can avoid a person like Taylor’s scams or many other roof scams. Here are some quick tips on how to avoid criminals like Taylor.

  • Be wary of door-knockers and roofing contractors who come to your door
  • Always ask who a person works for and their credentials such as licenses, insurance information, and registrations before allowing them on your roofs
  • Never pay a roofer up front, wait until a job you requested is taken care of and you are satisfied with results

By being cautious and doing extra research, you can avoid many of the scams that some Richmond residents have fallen for. When it comes to your home, it always pays to be vigilant and thorough.

Finding a Reputable Denver Roofing Contractor

Anyone who has lived in Colorado for one summer knows that with the warmer temperatures comes a flood of hail storms. They can often be harmless but in some cases the storms can turn vicious and rain down large damaging hail stones that damage everything from cars to gardens. They also can do a number on roofs. This leaves hundreds if not thousands of homeowners reaching out to get their roof repaired in a timely fashion.

With this influx of roofing needs comes an influx of fly-by-night contractors and scammers. There have already been a couple of shady characters roaming around Colorado this season and Roofcorp wants to make sure you don’t become the next victim, so here are some steps to take to make sure you aren’t swindled out of your hard earned money.

How to Find a Reputable Denver Roofing Contractor

Licensed and Insured

Any reputable roofing company will have proper insurance that is roofing specific and current. This includes having both general liability insurance and workers’ compensation. The roofing contractor should be more than happy to show you their insurance qualifications. It is even in your best interest to call the insurance company that they provide to make sure the contractor is up to date and in good standing.

Better Business Bureau Accredited

Check to see if the business has been accredited by your local Better Business Bureau. This will help insure that they are not a fly-by-night company looking to make a quick buck. Check to see that they have received any complaints and if so, that those complaints were dealt with in a timely manner.

Positive Third Party Reviews

Utilize third party review collections to pick out roofing contractors with a solid reputation. Angie’s List, Yelp and even Google Reviews can help you sort through the myriad of different companies in your area. Look for positive reviews from real homeowners. Be wary because some companies will pay free lancers to write fake positive reviews. Also check to see that they have been around long enough to build a good testimonial portfolio.

Be Wary of Incredible Deals

The saying goes: “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is,” and that goes with Denver roofing contractors as well. Rock bottom low estimates, especially those asked to be paid in full and up front, are usually a good indicator of scams.

Roofing Company Head Jailed for Fraud

It can sometimes be easy to think that you are above the law or that a lie told often enough becomes truth. That is not the case for one executive of a New Jersey roofing company who was recently jailed for supplying false and misleading information to insurance providers.

Charles Kelcy Pegler has been charged with third degree insurance fraud for falsifying information to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in premiums to New Jersey Casualty Insurance Company. Pegler ran the New Jersey based Roof Diagnostics Inc. a roofing contracting company that employed close to 400 workers.

Pegler misled the New Jersey Casualty Insurance Company, submitting documents that claimed Roof Diagnostics was not a roofing company nor that it employed roofers or ever did any type of roofing work. Pegler also falsified information to USF Insurance Company, claiming that Roof Diagnostics Inc. only employed subcontractors to do roofing repairs and installations. This helped Pegler avoid paying $134,000 in general liability coverage. In total it is estimated that Pegler avoided paying over $265,000 in proper insurance premiums.

New Jersey’s insurance prosecutor Ronald Chillemi used the trial as an example to discourage this type of fraud stating, “Such frauds will not be tolerated and will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Superior Court Judge Anthony J Mellaci Jr. of Monmouth County sentenced Pegler to 180 days in county jail. This will come on top of 150 hours of community service, $15,000 in criminal fines and three years on probation. Since being indicted Pegler has already repaid the total amount of money owed in restitution to both the New Jersey Casualty Insurance Company and USF Insurance Company.

Its important to remember the importance for roofing companies to carry accurate and up to date insurance information. When you begin your working with your roofing contractor it is important to make sure that all their information is accurate.  The homeowner should ask to see official documents and even call the telephone number listed on those documents to make sure the information is current. Check to see that the contractor provides both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.

This kind of homework insures that you get a trusted and reputable roofer.

Colorado Roofing Scam Busted

Roofcorp has stressed the importance of doing your research before hiring a roofing company to avoid many common scams. One Colorado roofing and paving company was recently indicted after authorities found out they were scamming many of their elderly customers.

Colorado Roofing Scams

Authorities say the company in question was involved in a door-to-door bait and switch, the people who were targeted were often elderly and lived out in rural areas. The men traveled to several towns and counties including Arapahoe, Boulder, Jefferson and Weld County. The contractors would state to the customers that they had recently performed a roofing job and had leftover material. They would then offer a very high discounted rate to install new roofing on these resident’s home.

The deal was simply too good to be true, after work was done the homeowners were left with a bill that far exceeded the original estimates. Homeowners report that the work was also very shoddy and hasty. Some homeowners confronted the company about the terrible work and were met with arguments and further abuse.

As of now three men have been arrested in the case. Rickey Dean Fite, his son Rickey Gene Fite and Rodney Jackson. The three men have been charged with several crimes including money laundering, tax evasion, felony theft and could possibly face charges of criminal attempt to commit criminal exploitation of at-risk elder. Police are still searching for two other men, Michael Sullivan and Emanuel Broadway who they believe were also involved in the scam.

The men could face up to 24 years in prison if convicted of the more serious crime of targeting elderly people under the Elder Abuse Law in Colorado. They will be prosecuted in the Boulder District Court.

Protecting Yourself From Colorado Roofing Scams

Roofcorp would like to remind its readers about the importance of doing background research before any kind of agreement is signed. Always make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company that is licensed, accredited and insured. Don’t be afraid to ask to see insurance documentation. Look for companies from accredited sources, such as the Better Business Bureau. Remember, if the price sounds to good to be true, it probably is.