Convicted felon under investigation again for unfinished home improvement jobs

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- New details into an I-Team Troubleshooter investigation involving a contractor turned convicted felon. The law is catching up with him again.

Apex Police Chief Jason Armstrong tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson his department obtained warrants against Roger Dale Simmons for jobs that involved Apex homeowners. Armstrong said the warrants obtained against Simmons are for obtaining property by false pretense (x2), failure to complete work (X2), and felony worthless check.

These charges relate to a story ABC11 did in March. Four different Apex homeowners hired Simmons, who owned the home improvement business Deck Ace.

All four homeowners signed contracts with the company Deck Ace, which also goes by Deck Ace Handyman Services, to convert existing porches into all-season rooms. Three of the homeowners have paid Simmons thousands of dollars for work, but none of them have a finished project.

The fourth homeowner signed a contract with Simmons and paid him $1,200, but no work has happened to date. What these Apex homeowners say they didn't know when they hired Simmons is his past criminal history.

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson is very familiar with Simmons because of her investigations that started in 2018 when homeowners in Durham and Wake counties came to Wilson after he took thousands of dollars for home improvement jobs and left them with shoddy and unfinished work.

Back then, those homeowners had no idea Simmons already served jail time in North Carolina for fraud. Plus, in Virginia he had more than 20 judgments totaling more than $50,000 against him. Simmons also owned a remodeling company and had complaints filed against him in Texas.

After Wilson's investigation in 2018 and 2019, Simmons was convicted of several counts of obtaining property under false pretenses and served time behind bars. He was also ordered to pay $73,000 in restitution.

According to North Carolina state records, Simmons got out of jail in August of 2019, and just a few months after, he registered his new remodeling business in Wake County.

In March, after we showed you how Simmons left the Apex homeowners, we heard from five Cary homeowners who also hired Simmons. They said after they paid a large portion of their contract, Simmons left them with unfinished work.

"He's done a lot of damage to several homeowners," Cary homeowner Venkat said. Venkat paid Simmons more than $32,000 for a sunroom and screened-in porch that is not finished.

Wilson confirmed Cary Police Department has an active investigation into Simmons.

In March when Troubleshooter Diane Wilson got in touch with Simmons about the Apex jobs, he said he's done the work he was hired to do according to the contract. For the three homeowners that Simmons did do work for, he says they told him to stop working despite being willing to finish their jobs.

He said the issues with permits involve the slab footer/foundation on some of the projects and claims the homeowners were responsible to secure the proper inspections for that part of the job. Simmons claims he was led to believe the homeowners did get the inspections when he started his framing work on the all-season rooms.

He claims once the homeowners learned about his past criminal history, they "bullied him."

"Ultimately they all teamed up together and told me to leave there (sic) job site. I did NOT want to leave I wanted to finish there (sic) project. I begged them to please let me finish the projects," Simmons claimed. Most recently Simmons blamed a lot of the problems on the jobs, with the homeowners, and said there is much more to the story.

In his most recent email to Wilson, Simmons wrote, "You will get my side of the story when my attorney decides it is time."

The NC Licensing Board of General Contractors said the group is also investigating since Simmons is not licensed to do work for more than $30,000, and one of the Cary homeowners that hired Simmons has contracts that total more than $30,000. The Executive Director of the Board said Simmons was previously placed under an injunctive order filed in Wake County Superior Court by the NCLBGC.
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