Troubleshooter investigation leads to jail time for Raleigh contractor

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Roger Dale Simmons will spend time behind bars. He was the center of a Troubleshooter investigation last summer after several homeowners complained he took thousands of dollars for work but never finished the jobs.

In Wake County court, Simmons pleaded guilty to five counts of obtaining property under false pretenses and was sentenced to a minimum of 10 months behind bars. He was also given five years of supervised probation and during that time must pay restitution of $73,000 to his victims. He was also ordered to have no contact with the five victims or trespass on their properties.

Simmons still faces charges in Durham County related to Saima McLamb's job. McLamb paid Simmons $12,000 out of a $28,000 contract to get started on the work to convert her garage into a living space for her parents.

"Just to show me that he was doing something, he put this big dumpster in front of my driveway and then he said we are going to start working soon," McLamb said.

McLamb said Simmons told her the project would take about four to six weeks, and he eventually got to work.

"He took the garage door down, and he made two big holes in my walls, which I had to re-fix and pay for, and he put these square pieces of wood on my garage. That's it. That's all he did." she said.

When it comes to the permit he was supposed to get; she said she later found out that Simmons never got the required permits from the Durham County Inspections Department, and the work he did do wasn't up to code. Simmons is charged with obtaining property under false pretenses and failure to do work.

Besides cases in Wake and Durham Counties, Simmons has racked up complaints from customers other states. He is a convicted felon as he has served time in a North Carolina prison for fraud charges, has more than 20 judgments totaling more than $50,000 against him in Virginia, and has complaints against him when he ran a remodeling company in Texas.

The best advice before you hire anyone for a job, research not only the company's name but the owner's name. You can do this by googling their name or checking with the Better Business Bureau.

Simmons does have several complaints filed against him with the BBB. Also, for any job over $30,000 the contractor must be licensed. Simmons is not licensed. Click here if you want to check if a contractor is licensed in North Carolina.
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