Local residents said they have been ripped off by a Northeast Ohio contracting company after its operations manager cashed their checks and never completed the work.
"I’ve seen it on TV before but I never dreamed I would be taken advantage of,” said Anna Schumacher of Brook Park.
Schumacher said she wrote a check to All Together Construction for nearly $4,700 last year to remodel parts of her basement after she found no complaints about the company with the Better Business Bureau at the time. But the contractor for the company, Ken Adams, never even started the job.
"He was very personable, very believable,” she added.
"He just didn't deliver what he was going to," said Deborah Palmentera of Parma who added that she also checked the BBB before hiring Adams from All Together Construction last year.
Since then, the BBB said All Together Construction has received eight complaints for unfinished or unsatisfactory work.
Palmentera said she gave Adams $11,000 to re-do her kitchen, which was supposed to include supplies. But it did not. She said she ended up having to pay for the granite, countertops, floors and the backsplash. She is trying to still get $2,000 back from him a year later.
“It's frustrating, disappointing, heart-breaking to a point," she added.
NewsChannel 5 investigated Adams' background and discovered he was convicted of passing bad checks and aggravated theft in Cuyahoga County in 2005. He has racked up 57 Better Business Bureau complaints among the five companies he has owned or operated in the county in the last 16 years.
According to Secretary of State documents, Adams incorporated Cleveland Home Improvement Company but the state canceled the company's incorporation certificate in 2007 for failing to pay taxes.
State documents also indicate that Adams incorporated Prestique Roofing & Siding Co, Inc. but the state also canceled the company's incorporation certificate in 2007 for failing to pay taxes. The Cleveland Browns and Indians sued the company in 2005 for uncompleted work.
In 2007, state documents show that Adams incorporated Bellagio Roofing & Gutter Co., Inc. The incorporation certificate is still active.
Adams is listed as a defendant in a civil suit brought against Dream Works Home Improvement, Ltd. by the Ohio attorney general. The BBB said he is a general manager of the company. State business filings show that Dream Works was incorporated in 2011 by Archie Coon of Cleveland. A background search of Coon indicates he is a relative of Adams. The attorney general's office said the lawsuit is pending.
Adams has been the operations manager of All Together Construction, which was incorporated in 2015. Its status with the state is still active.
NewsChannel 5 tried to find Adams but the residents at the address listed on the company's business filing said Adams and the incorporator moved out. NewsChannel 5 also went to a Strongsville home listed as a potential address for Adams. But there was a for sale sign in the yard and the house was empty. A neighbor said the Adams family moved out a month ago.
"Ken, shame on you," said Schumacher.
Schumacher said she received $550 from Adams as reimbursement for the work he did not do but she is still out more than $4,000.