Two companies investigated by WBTV also investigated by EPA

Updated: Mar. 10, 2020 at 10:33 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Two companies at the center of a WBTV investigation are facing questions from federal investigators. A recently released search warrant executed by the Environmental Protection Agency shows that Restoration Contractors of America and United Atlantic Public Adjusters are under investigation for the way they’ve handled asbestos claims and testing.

A WBTV investigation already revealed that dozens of customers have complained to the North Carolina Attorney General’s office about RCA and UAPA’s handling of their roofing claims. The new search warrant reveals insights into how the two companies were operating together.

The search warrant filed by the EPA alleges that both RCA and UAPA were not qualified to work with asbestos but told customers otherwise.

In January WBTV spoke with Kindra Rush, whose mom hired RCA to fix her roof but never did the work. After WBTV reached out to RCA about Rush’s situation the company provided her with a refund.

But emails between Rush and a representative from UAPA show that RCA was offering to provide a refund to Rush’s mom if she would allow the company to do testing for asbestos.

“He made a promise that we would be able to get my mom’s money back, because we had waited so long, if we allowed them to come in and do testing for asbestos on the interior of the house,” Rush said.

But according to federal court records RCA was never licensed to do asbestos testing. The un-sealed search warrant filed by the EPA against RCA and UAPA says the agency is investigating “alleged fraudulent lead and asbestos inspections and insurance billing.”

According to the search warrant, a former RCA employee told an investigator that “RCA was going broke doing roofing jobs.” The employee claims RCA’s owner Brent Emerson came up with the new business strategy to do asbestos testing and funnel that money to the roofing division.

State records reviewed by the EPA show that no RCA employees were ever accredited or licensed to do asbestos and lead testing even though the company sent out material saying that they were.

The search warrant said UAPA owner Jill Goden would work with insurance companies to get reimbursements for the asbestos testing even though state inspectors said RCA was using incorrect test methods.

Rush told WBTV that RCA claimed her mom had asbestos but never followed up.

WBTV emailed RCA owner Brent Emerson. He responded “Can we run our own story? LOL.”

He also said that RCA received accreditation to complete lead testing.

WBTV did not receive a response from UAPA.

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