CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The owner of a North Carolina roof repair company facing dozens of complaints and investigations from several different state and federal agencies, has already been convicted of running a fraudulent scheme in Arizona.
The WBTV Investigates team started reviewing Arizona Attorney General records related to the business associates at Restoration Contractors of America after an initial WBTV story about the company aired last week.
State records show that the owner of RCA, Brent Emerson, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in 2009 after being convicted of selling fraudulent pharmaceutical websites to people in Arizona. He was ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution.
Emerson’s business associate Gary Murdie, who also works at RCA, was sentenced to two months in county jail in the scheme and was ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution.
As part of a civil case against Murdie and Emerson, both of them were prohibited “from engaging in additional sales of business opportunities or advertising services in Arizona, or from participating in any business in Arizona that included outbound telemarketing as a means to generate sales.”
Both Murdie and Emerson are now calling the shots at RCA according to customers and former employees WBTV spoke to.
A fraud investigator at the North Carolina Department of Insurance confirmed that their department assisted the IRS and EPA in executing a search warrant of the RCA and UAPA offices in Charlotte although no charges have been filed.
WBTV has reviewed more than 30 complaints filed with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office against Restoration Contractors of America and United Atlantic Public Adjusters. After a WBTV Investigation aired two weeks ago, several viewers started relaying their stories with the companies.
Mount Holly resident Chris Burnett said the experience was toxic.
“I would tell them to get off my property,” Burnett said. “I wouldn’t do business with them, point blank.”
Burnett filed a complaint against RCA with the Attorney General’s office claiming someone at the company forged his name on a service contract and public adjuster contract that granted power of attorney to the adjuster.
“Where it asked for my signature it was initials, CB, and that was it!” Burnett said. “I never write CB on any document that asks for my signature.”
Other complaints filed with the Attorney General’s office make similar allegations against RCA and UAPA.
An attorney representing Emerson provided WBTV with a generic recorded message from UAPA owner Eric Goden stating his responsibilities to customers. In a different audio file, you can hear someone saying “Chris Burnett, I understand.” Burnett tells WBTV he does not remember that call.
Burnett also admits to signing a work order and $1,000 check with RCA for upgraded shingles and roof work but says he only wanted to cancel the contract after he learned that his name had been forged on the original documentation.
A statement from an attorney representing RCA wrote in an email.
“RCA denies any forgery, now or in the past. These AG complaints come over a period of nine years of productive operations and thousands of successful roof repairs. RCA is not and has not been involved in criminal activity, and will cooperate with any investigations if requested.”