NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The owner of a roofing company is in hot water after being arrested over the weekend for home improvement fraud.
According to the arrest warrant, James Kenton, owner of Tennessee Metal Roofing, was charged Saturday with home improvement fraud over $1,000.
According to the warrant, a customer said a representative from the company quoted him nearly $12,000 for a new metal roof. The customer said he paid a down payment around $1,100 and signed a contract.
The warrant said the representative from the company completed an inspection and told the customer that the contract was “no longer valid” and a new contract needed to be completed, one that was “significantly higher.”
The warrant said the customer refused to sign a new contract and request a refund, but never got it. The customer filed a police report.
According to the warrant, investigators asked Kenton if he received the customer’s money and deposited the victim’s check.
Kenton allegedly replied, “You’re damn right I did, and he’s not getting his money back.”
News4 reached out to Tennessee Metal Roofing’s attorney Joe Calvert.
“This is just people trying to get out of their obligation. That’s all it boils down to,” said Calvert, who feels the customer is just trying to get out of his contract.
“The police statement basically has incorrect numbers, incorrect dates, incorrect facts,” said Calvert.
This is not the first person to complain about Tennessee Metal Roofing’s business practices.
Whenever Jennifer Bracy things about Tennessee Metal Roofing and Kenton, she said her blood boils.
“Shame on you! You fooled me. You’re fooling a lot of people,” said Bracy.
Bracy said she contacted the company last July to purchase a roof. The installation started around mid-August.
“It just really was kind of a bad experience from the start,” said Bracy. “During this process, we still had six new leaks that they had developed by cutting all the trip edges short to water coming into the door jams.”
Bracy claimed the leaks got worse the heavier it rained.
“At one point we came home and there was a severe thunderstorm that evening. It was a Sunday evening and I found a couple of new leaks and I told the owner, ‘You know, this is really going badly,’ and he told me he didn’t control the rain.”
Bracy said the company charged her $23,000. She claimed the work was poorly done and she had to remove it five months after completion to prevent further damage to her home.
News4 asked Calvert about Bracy’s situation. He said Bracy and Kenton are currently battling out her complaint in court.
“She falsely sued Mr. Kenton when she had a claim against Tennessee Metal Inc.,” said Calvert. “The trial is on for next Thursday. I’m getting an admission from her attorney in writing that she is an improper party.”
“Shame on you for making this your living and stealing from people, and you know that the work is subpar and you know it’s gonna mess up their house,” said Bracy.
News4 filed an open records request with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and discovered another complaint against the company in Nashville from March. The customer said she paid $24,900 for her roof. After noticing problems, she also tried contacting the company, but never heard back. The case remains open.
The attorney for James Kenton/Tennessee Metal Roofing released a statement on incident.
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. 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.