Tornado Victims Scammed Out of Home Repairs - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Tornado Victims Scammed Out of Home Repairs

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CARTER CO., OK -- The worst of mother nature destroyed George & Patsy Jones' home in February. Now they say the worst in human nature has taken what's left.

From a distance their brick home looks fine, but step inside and you're greeted with an unfinished mess - broken floors, faulty wiring and missing appliances.

"It's been really, really frustrating," said George Jones. "They'll just lie to you and lie to you."

The family says the contractor they hired to repair and remodel their home after the Lone Grove tornado took their money, did poor carpenter work and then left - leaving much of the house unfinished, and in some cases worse than before.

"We wound up with hardly anything in the house," said Jones. "The cabinets, the carpets - we've already paid for some of that twice. He picked up and left us holding the bag."

Jones thought he had gotten a reputable contractor. They checked a reference and believed he had the proper licensing until things started to fall apart.

"They trusted this guy," said Jones' daughter-in-law Barbara. "But as we started checking him we found the first lawsuit out of Miami and then we found three more."
 
Jones paid the contractor most of his retirement fund - more than $200,000 for a home that's unlivable. The family has been forced to stay in the one part of the house that is somewhat finished - the garage. 

"It's sad. It just breaks your heart to see that there is no way they can stay in here," said Barbara Jones. "It's terrible. I can't believe anybody would do anyone that way, especially to an elderly couple."
 
The contractor has left town, but has left a paper trail, showing complaints filed against him in Miami, Oklahoma and Mississippi. The Jones' findings have been turned over to the Carter County Sheriff's Office. They don't think at this point they'll be able to get their money back, but they're hoping law enforcement can track him down and prevent him from doing this to someone else's home.

Katy Blakey, KTEN News