Perkins man charged with home repair fraud

Enid Police Department

A Perkins man was charged this week in Garfield County District Court with a single count of home repair fraud.

The felony filed Monday accuses James Heath Curry, 36, of willfully and unlawfully entering into a "consumer transaction for home repair" with a woman and then required payment at a price that "unreasonably" exceeded the value of the repair and materials earlier this year. Curry faces up to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.

Online court records show a warrant has been issued for Curry's arrest and bond on the warrant has been set at $21,300.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, on Feb. 14 Enid Police Department received a report from the son-in-law of an 89-year-old woman concerning a home repair fraud.

The man told police his mother-in-law lives in a trailer house in the 2200 block of East Carrier and had paid more than $21,000 in repairs that were not needed, according to the affidavit. The man provided police with the canceled checks and receipts for repairs.

An officer viewed the roof of the trailer and the roof coating did not appear to be new, the vents only appeared to have been repainted and a small amount of limbs were trimmed, according to the affidavit.

Detective Robin Bench reviewed the canceled checks and receipts for the work. On Jan. 18, the woman paid $3,800 "For Trimming Limbs off roof;" on Jan. 22, she paid $7,500 "For Coating roof using Elasticomatic Coating with 5 year material Labor and Cost;" on Jan. 30, she paid $7,000 "For all vents refurbish on home;" and on Feb. 20, she paid $3,000 for "Remainder of Bill for roof work." The figures total $21,300.

Bench noted the receipts all have Curry's name, phone number, signature, Curry's birthday, an ID number and the signature of the 89-year-old woman, according to the affidavit. Bench checked the number and it returned as a valid ID card for Curry.

On Feb. 21, Bench and evidence tech Sarah Kelley went to the trailer. Bench noted the home had a white roof and new shiny, black vents on the top, according to the affidavit. He and Kelley spoke with the woman, asking her what happened.

She said on Jan. 19, a person who identified himself as Curry came to the house with three other men, according to the affidavit. She said Curry told her she had tree limbs rubbing against her house that needed to be trimmed. She said she told him to trim the tree limbs.

The woman said Curry trimmed the limbs and placed them on a pile, along with some older limbs, according to the affidavit. Bench noted the largest limb cut was about 2 inches in diameter and about 5 feet long. He counted a total of six limbs that recently were trimmed. The woman told Bench she paid Curry $3,800 to cut the limbs.

She said on Jan. 22, the men returned and told her they noticed her roof needed repair when they were trimming tree limbs, according to the affidavit. The woman said she told Curry she agreed to have the roof repaired. She said when they finished, she paid a bill for $7,500.

The woman said on Jan. 30 the man came back to her home and told her the vents on her roof needed to be refurbished, according to the affidavit. The woman said she agreed to have the work done and paid $7,000 for the work.

The woman said on Feb. 10, Curry returned and told her they did not charge her correctly for the roof repair and gave her a bill for $3,000, according to the affidavit. The woman said she paid him the $3,000.

Bench asked the woman if she was having any troubles or leaks with her roof and the woman said she was not, according to the affidavit. She said Curry never gave her a business card and did not mention a business name.

Bench ask if Curry or any of the men threatened her to give them money, according to the affidavit. "(The woman) did not respond and looked towards (sic) the floor. You affiant knew from (the woman's) demeanor and body language something happened." Bench asked the woman what happened and she said she gave them money to get them to leave.

The woman described Curry as an unshaven white male in his 30s, 5 feet 10 inches tall and normal size, according to the affidavit. She described the other men as, "White males, fat, sloppy with blue jeans falling off them." The woman said they were driving a black four-door Ford pickup.

Bench contacted the city of Enid building inspector, who had no record of Curry in building records or applying for city licenses, according to the affidavit. Bench asked the inspector to check the woman's roof.

The following week, the inspector checked the roof and reported it did not appear new and the vents appeared to have been spray painted, according to the affidavit. The inspector said he could not provide an estimated for the work but could contact a contractor who could.

Fine Roofing's Lonnie Colville examined the roof and found something had been done but not new roof coating, according to the affidavit. The vents has been spray painted with black paint. He also noted the vents were not removed to be painted because there was overspray. Some areas of overspray were about 4 inches around the vents. Colville later provided police with an estimate of $8,000 for roofing the trailer home using elstomatic material plus labor.

Bench spoke with David Robinson of Standard Builders, which put a roof on the trailer home in July 2011, according to the affidavit. Bench asked for an estimate to complete that work today. Robinson said it would be between $4,250 to $5,400, for materials and labor, including the vents being painted. He said the cost for trimming would be $150 and $400 but said if it was a small amount of limbs they would trim them for free since they were doing the roof job.

Bench contacted a third contractor for an estimate. The contractor said the materials for the job would be $2,854 for 22 5-gallon buckets of coating and six cans of spray paint for the vents, according to the affidavit. The employee for this contractor said contractors charge differently for labor, either by the hour or for the job.

Bench spoke with a representative of the bank where the woman's checks were cashed. The representative provided video of each of the checks. The videos show a red-haired man with an unshaved face cashing the checks. The video also shows the man providing an ID and the name James Curry typewritten on each of the checks.

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