Owner of Mt. Juliet roofing company charged with home improvement fraud
MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro police have arrested the owner of a Mt. Juliet roofing company accused of scamming a Nashville homeowner out of nearly $1,200.
James Kenton, the owner of Tennessee Metal Roofing, was booked into the Metro jail Saturday on a felony charge of home improvement fraud.
According to an arrest warrant, a company employee completed an estimate for a new roof on a Nashville residence in late April. The representative quoted the homeowner $11,990 for the new roof, so he paid a $1,190 deposit and signed a contract, the paperwork states.
Following an inspection of the homeowner’s current roof, the resident told police he was informed by the company that his contract was no longer valid and a new contract would need to be completed with a “significantly higher” price. The homeowner said he refused to sign the new contract and requested a refund, but he could not get a response from the company, so he filed a police report.
The report states a detective spoke with Kenton, the owner of the company, on June 9 and asked if he had received and deposited the homeowner’s check. The paperwork alleges Kenton responded, “you’re damn right I did and he’s not getting his money back.”
Police said the homeowner was never refunded and no work was completed on his home, so Kenton was arrested over the weekend. He was later released from jail on a $5,000 bond.
Online court records show Kenton has a court date scheduled for Oct. 9 in the case. The hearing is listed as a “settlement.”
A statement was issued Monday afternoon by Kenton’s attorney, Joe Calvert. In part, Calvert said “the alleged victim is using the criminal justice system to avoid liability for the balance due on the contract.”
The entire statement from Calvert is below:
The alleged victim entered a contract with Tennessee Metal Roofing, Inc. (a corporate entity) to install a new roof. James Kenton is a shareholder of Tennessee Metal Roofing Inc. When Mr. Kenton was contacted by Davidson County Detective William Thorowgood. On July 14, 2020 detective Thorowgood was provided a copy of the contract by Mr. Kenton’s attorney upon which there is no signature by Mr. Kenton, proof that Tennessee Metal Roofing Inc. is an incorporated business, and a copy of a letter to the alleged victim in an attempt to resolve the issue.
The letter in pertinent part reads:
We represent Tennessee Metal Roofing. On April 29, 2020, you entered a contract with our client for a metal roof for your home at 2505 Pulley Road, Nashville, Tennessee for in exchange for payment of $11,900.00. You executed all necessary documents accordingly.
However, when our client was to begin the roof repairs you refused to allow Tennessee Metal Roofing to begin and complete the contracted repairs. You are in breach of contract. A balance of $10,000.00 remains on the contract.
You have two options to resolve this issue. First, you can contact our client and make all appropriate arrangements to complete the roof repairs and to install a new roof as agreed. Second, you can send payment of $10,000 according to the contract terms to Tennessee Metal Roofing at 11205 Lebanon Road, #294, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee 37122.
If you do not make payment or the appropriate arrangements with our client on or before the close of business on Monday, July 20, 2020, we will commence a lawsuit in the Circuit Court for Wilson County pursuant to the venue provision in the contract for breach of contract, common law fraud, promissory estoppel, and prima facie tort.
Although this is a civil matter, the alleged victim is using the criminal justice system to avoid liability for the balance due on the contract. There is no signed warrant that has been located by the local media, the alleged amount of refund due that is incorrect, dates that are incorrect and there is an unintelligible statement about a mysterious unidentified third party that allegedly wanted a new contract signed. Tennessee Metal Roofing, Inc. is in compliance with the agreement and both state and federal law. Tennessee Metal Inc. has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Mr. Kenton did not issue a complaint for filing a false police report in July.
– Joe Calvert, Kenton’s Attorney