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NASHVILLE (WSMV) – Public records show that a contractor, first reported by News4 Investigates, was arrested for home improvement fraud.
Joshua Murphy, a man who customers complained about having trouble responding, is charged with home improvement fraud in Sumner County.
According to an arrest warrant, a homeowner reached out to Murphy last May to put a fence around his home. The homeowner paid more than $ 7,000 to install a fence but claims it never happened. This problem sounds familiar to me.
Three people in Middle Tennessee came to News4 Investigates and said Murphy never completed the work they paid him to do. The results of our investigation were also highlighted in the Hendersonville Detective’s police report.
In this last case, the customer went to the police. The customer sent a certified letter to Murphy and the AG office requesting a refund.
Under State Law TCA 39-14-154, Murphy had 90 days to refund the customer. When Murphy failed to do so, an arrest warrant was issued against him.
The report said Murphy told detectives that he had a lawyer he had yet to pay. His lawyer told him not to speak to anyone about his debts. Murphy also told police that he is trying to file for bankruptcy so that he can be cleared of debt. Murphy now has a $ 7,500.00 bond.
News4 reached Murphy by phone and text message. We didn’t hear back.
The attorney general says this case is important. If you think someone took your money and didn’t deliver it as promised, you can investigate criminal complaint filings.
“If someone takes money from you and promises to do work he or she doesn’t, then they may have violated Tennessee consumer protection laws. The thing is, we’d have to look at what was promised and what was delivered and why, ”said Samantha Fisher, communications director at TN’s Attorney General.
According to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Tennessee crime theft law applies to consumers if a contractor takes money and doesn’t do the job within 90 days. In this case, a consumer can turn to local law enforcement agencies to issue an arrest warrant against them.
The law provides for certain steps where a consumer must first notify the contractor in writing to have the money refunded within 10 days and then copy the Tennessee Attorney General with the letter.
After 10 days, consumers can ask law enforcement to arrest and prosecute the contractor. If the contractor is found guilty, the court will give the contractor the option of a refund instead of the prison sentence.
The Board for Licensing Contractors cannot compel a licensee to repair damage, complete a project, pass monetary judgments, or even refund money. The board can only discipline the contractor.
However, they encourage consumers to report complaints so that the Board of Directors can monitor these professionals. assess whether they are entitled to keep their license; means raising public awareness to protect others from harm, including those who are not licensed. Often times, filing a complaint provides a means of communicating a problem and resolving the problems.
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