Fencing contractor charged with theft after projects left unfinished

Homeowners paid thousands for new fences, but the company allegedly never did the work.
Homeowners paid thousands for new fences, but the company allegedly never did the work.
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 7:08 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A fencing contractor working in Tennessee and Kentucky is accused of taking off with peoples’ hard-earned money before ever starting the job. They are now turning to WSMV 4 Investigates to help warn others.

Cross Line Fencing is based in Scottsville, Kentucky, according to its website. WSMV4 Investigates spoke with victims on both side of the state line who said its owner took their money and never showed back up to do the work.

The fence around Cynthia Summers’ Sumner County home won’t hold much longer.

“The fence is about seven years old, and it needs to come down before we get another bad storm,” Summers said.

That is why she she said she paid Bradley Copas of Cross Line Fencing $2,500 to replace it in May, but she said he never came back to start on the fence.

Kelly Holden, who also lives in Sumner County, said she paid Copas thousands of dollars for a project too.

“It was a lot of savings,” Holden said. “I have been saving for 10 years.”

Work at Holden’s home also remains unfinished. The same goes for Bonnie Watson’s family in Logan County, Kentucky.

“I feel angry because it is happening to so many people,” Watson said.

Copas is now facing charges for theft, fraudulent home improvement services and impersonation of a licensed professional in Sumner County. Meanwhile, Watson is pushing for criminal charges in Kentucky. They worry about more people falling victim.

“If you are going to be a contractor and charge these rates and defraud or don’t do a good job, they need to pay people back and not get a slap on the wrist,” Holden said.

WSMV4 reached out to Copas to see if he is going to refund customers and if he has taken any more customers on since the charges in July. His attorney responded on his behalf saying that he advised Copas not to answer any questions because “anything he says will be used against him by the District Attorney’s Office in Sumner County.”

Copas is expected in Sumner County General Session Court on Oct. 11. In the meantime, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance reminds people to never pay more than one-third of the project upfront and never let payments get ahead of the work. TDCI said anyone with a bad experience should file a complaint.