Hail storms in Central Indiana over the summer months left several people dealing with severe storm damage. But now, Fox 59 is taking action for the homeowners who paid thousands of dollars for repairs that were never completed.
Lisa Limeberry said the home her late husband trusted her to keep up is nearly falling apart.
“It really gets to me because my nerves are just completely shot over this,” Limeberry said.
After severe storms in May, Allstate Insurance gave her a $4,500 check to pay for repairs. She said she then paid Patriot Restoration of Newcastle to fix the roof and siding.
“He took $ 4,500 and skipped out,” Limeberry said.
When workers didn’t show up the day they were scheduled in September, Lisa’s family got involved.
“When you call them they say they’ll be here the next day,” said Limeberry’s daughter-in-law, Carrie Limeberry. “They don’t show up. Then they won’t answer their phones once they say they’re going to show up.”
This alleged problem extends across several counties with 12 similar complaints filed with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, an “F” rating with the BBB and an investigation by New Castle and Muncie police.
“It kills me, because I have no other means,” said Limeberry. “They knew I was on disability. They knew I was having problems getting my meds.”
Fox59 went to the address listed with the State of Indiana for this business and the doors were locked. We also visited the owner, Richard Moghadam’s home address and nobody answered.
Moghadam’s attorney, Greg Miller, declined an interview but sent this statement:
Patriot Restoration of New Castle is diligently responding to complaints of its customers filed with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office and elsewhere. The company is hoping to achieve satisfactory resolution of these complaints in the near future.
So what can these homeowners do?
Attorney Andrea Ciobanu said if they don’t want to wait, they can go to small claims court, but they’re capped at $6,000 in damages.
“One of the advantages that people look to in small claims court is that you can represent yourself and it moves a lot quicker than state court,” Ciobanu said.
These people can seek damages under the Crime Victim Act and since there are so many complaints, they can file as a group, Ciobanu said.
“If they can collaborate together (and) work with one attorney to represent them all together it would cut down on their fees, it would make it more efficient for the attorney and the attorney would know the case very well,” Ciobanu said.
Urgency is important.
“These are scam artists and unfortunately they take the money and they run. They spend it, they get rid of it, they file for bankruptcy and sometimes you can’t find the defendants. So, you have to file quickly,” Ciobanu said.
The Limeberrys are considering small claims court and other options to get that money back to fix their home before winter hits.
“For him to sit there and say they’re a Christian company and everything and talk about oh yeah they’re going to take care of this house,” Carrie said.
“I just want him to own up to it. I want him to own up to everything he’s doing to people and I want him to pay them all back,” Lisa said.
Muncie and New Castle police are looking into this and the case could be sent to the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office as soon as this week. They encourage people to file complaints if they’ve been dealing with a similar situation.
Meanwhile, this message was posted on Patriot Restoration of New Castle’s website over the weekend:
ATTENTION ALL WE APOLIGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE WE ARE GOING TO BE ISSUING REFUNDS SHORTLY FOR THOSE WHOM WERE NOT BUILT. WE HAD RAN ACROSS ISSUES WITH OUR PREVIOUS LEGAL ADMINISTRATOR AND HAVE HIRED NEW COUNCIL TO TAKE HIS PLACE. RICHARD IS SETTING UP A TRUST FUND FOR THE COMPANY ON MONDAY 10/22/2012 FOR THIS REASON. WE HAVE SENT ALL OF THE JOBS COMPLETED THAT OWE TO COLLECTIONS TO SPEED UP REFUNDS. THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE IS AMPLE FUNDS ON WHAT IS OWED TO US TO COVER EVERYONE’S REFUNDS. WE THANK ALL OF YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY AND WE THANK ALL THE CUSTOMERS WHOM WE BUILT FOR THE WORK! ONCE EVERYONE HAS RECIEVED THIER REFUNDS WE WILL BE CLOSING DOWN PERMANATELY. IF YOU HAD WORK COMPLETED BY US YOUR WARRENTY WILL STILL BE HONORED BY CALLING 765-524-0759. AGAIN THANK YOU.