HomeCoverINTERNATIONALPool contractor charged with stealing greater than $150,000 from Spring, Conroe-area households

Pool contractor charged with stealing greater than $150,000 from Spring, Conroe-area households


Spring – Our KPRC 2 Investigates crew is all the time working to search out solutions to your issues. Probably the most frequent complaints we obtain on our tip line is from individuals who have points with contractors they rent to work on their houses. Investigator Invoice Spencer is understood for monitoring down a few of these contractors.

Now he’s going after a person accused of taking cash from households within the Spring and Conroe space with out ending the work. Plus, our Investigates crew will clarify three issues you must do earlier than hiring any contractors to your residence.

Households lose hundreds of {dollars} after hiring a pool contractor who by no means completed the job. Investigator Invoice Spencer is on the case. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

Patrick Brice and his spouse Tenille did their homework. They researched contractors earlier than lastly hiring one to construct a pool. However they nonetheless ended up dropping tens of hundreds of {dollars}. They’ve phrase arduous and saved for his or her residence in Spring and have all the time taken nice satisfaction in it. Final April, they determined to place the ultimate contact on their dream residence by including an in-ground fiberglass pool. Whole price: $45,900.

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A yard paradise, simply in time to have fun their son’s induction into the US Navy.

“I instructed him, our son was leaving for the Navy and we wished it by July 4th. We had been going to have a giant get together,” stated Tenille Nosworthy-Brice.

“It was a really massive deal, in all probability aside from the home, this was the most important buy we’ve ever made,” stated Brice.

Households lose hundreds of {dollars} after hiring a pool contractor who by no means completed the job. Investigator Invoice Spencer is on the case. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

Contractor saved asking for extra money

After interviewing three completely different pool contractors, the Brice’s determined to rent Darren Mathew Cook dinner, proprietor of Epic Fiberglass Swimming pools.

“We went with Darren as a result of he was truly the most affordable of the three, lesson realized, you by no means go along with the underside estimate, proper?” stated Brice.

His estimate was about $10,000 cheaper than the remaining. Regardless of the cheaper price, Tenille and Patrick say Cook dinner demanded a $22,900 down fee, nearly half the price of the job. They are saying he then demanded one other $11,000 on the primary day staff dug an enormous gap.

“We paid him a bit of over $34,000 thousand {dollars} altogether,” stated Brice.

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Jada England, a single mother from Conroe, says she paid Darren Cook dinner $50,000 {dollars} for this fiberglass pool that was to be a Christmas current for her two kids. Greater than a yr later, she is paying tens of hundreds of {dollars} extra to produce other contractors full the job.

“The pool I paid for just isn’t the pool that I obtained,” stated England. “The precise shell just isn’t stage, it has quite a lot of harm to it. So mainly, I needed to pay for all the pieces twice, trigger I paid him after which I paid another person.”

Pool contractor arrested and charged with felony theft

Now, after months of investigation, Cook dinner has been formally charged with 2nd diploma felony theft, for defrauding a number of households out of greater than $150,000.

“He mainly preys on susceptible residents out right here,” stated Constable Mark Herman, Harris County Precinct 4. “He begins the work, leaves a giant gap of their again yard and tries to fade.”

Alleged victims instructed investigators that Cook dinner “introduced himself as an expert and a devoted father and devoted Christian.”

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Darren Cook dinner is accused of stealing hundreds of {dollars} from households and by no means ending the work he was employed to do. Investigators assume there could possibly be extra victims on the market. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

Investigators consider there could also be different individuals who employed Cook dinner and left with unfinished work.

Herman says Darren Cook dinner’s subsequent courtroom look takes place subsequent month and he expects extra instances can be filed by that point.

You’ll be able to contact investigators by calling (281) 376-3472 or by going on-line.

3 steps to take earlier than hiring a pool contractor

Epic Fiberglass Swimming pools has been given an F-rating by the Higher Enterprise Bureau.

Shopper watchdog Leah Napoliello (with the Higher Enterprise Bureau) has three steps it is advisable to take to maintain this from occurring to you.

  1. Earlier than hiring anybody test to see if the corporate has been rated by the Higher Enterprise Bureau.

  2. Ask for 4 different prospects the corporate has finished work for, then name or go to these prospects for feed again.

  3. Comply with “the rule of thirds” in terms of fee.

“So that you pay the preliminary third up entrance, earlier than preliminary work to be finished,” explains Leah Napoliello, Higher Enterprise Bureau of Higher Houston and South Texas. “One other third on the halfway level in case you’re nonetheless glad with all the pieces after which the ultimate third solely when and after you’ve completely evaluate the work and are comfortable and glad with all the pieces.”

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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