5 On Your Side

Limo Service Takes Teens for a Ride

Posted July 30, 2007
Updated July 31, 2007

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— A group of Kerr-Vance Academy students was all dressed up with nowhere to go on prom night after the limousine they had rented failed to show.

The 20 friends decided they wanted to ride a Hummer to the prom, and they pooled their money to rent one from a limo service.

They found Durham-based Rollz Royce Limousine on the Internet, and they said owner Rich "Skippie" Graham told them everything they wanted to hear on the phone.

"I felt that he was a pretty trustworthy guy. I mean, he told us all about it. He was very, very polite," student Victoria Satterwhite said.

Teacher and parent Tina Abbott collected $1,350 from the teens and paid Graham for the rental. Graham said he required full payment up front because he didn't trust teenagers, she said.

The day before the prom, Abbott said she called Graham to confirm the details and was told the limo needed repairs and was unavailable.

"I was so upset. I was trying to be calm about it, but I knew I had 20 kids counting on this ride the next day," Abbott said.

"We were all really upset, but we thought, 'OK, at least we're getting our money back,'" student Tyler McDaniel said.

The teens and Abbott said Graham repeatedly promised a refund. But they said he no longer answers their phone calls.

So, they called 5 on Your Side for help. A quick check found other teens who said they were owed money by Graham after paying for and not receiving limo service.

Landon Hawkins of Carrboro said he and his friends rented a limo for their prom two weeks after Kerr-Vance Academy students did. Graham called them on their prom day to say the limo was out of service, and they haven't received their $490 back, Hawkins said.

Carl Davis Jr. of Warrenton said he paid almost $700 to rent a Rolls Royce from Graham for his prom. Three hours before the event, he said, Graham called to say the car was broken, and he hasn't provided a refund.

"It's made us all very angry. We want our money back," McDaniel said.

The addresses listed by Graham for his business were at his parents' home, a shopping mall and an office building. There was no sign of Graham or any limos at any of the addresses.

In a telephone interview, Graham told 5 on Your Side that "everyone can have a refund" when he was asked about the $2,540 he collected for limo services he never provided to the three groups of teens.

"Things don't happen overnight," he said, adding that he would have his "legal department" call 5 on Your Side for more information.

No one has called since.

Graham also runs an online school called Victory College of Theology, and he claims on the school's Web site to have a relationship with several prominent religious figures. But a representative told 5 on Your Side the connection is at best related to limo service Graham provided some 10 years ago.

While the students await their refunds, they are warning others to beware.

"It's wrong. I mean, you don't do that to people," Satterwhite said.

A representative of the North Carolina Limousine Association described Graham as "a bad seed." She recommended customers check the association's Web site for members and that they go to a business to see a limousine before renting it.

70 Comments

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  • dsdaughtry Aug 2, 2007

    small claims court!

  • 07_Bama_Resi Aug 1, 2007

    When was this prom? If before April 10th, then this guy is trying to scam someone else. I know our prom with April 5. It and how can you change an address so many times with out it being obvious to those give the business license?

  • ncrebel Aug 1, 2007

    I can certainly understand the pain. I rented a limo from Lords and Ladies Limo Service in Wendell for my daughter's 16th birthday. Of course everyone was excited and expectations were high. Because most of the kids riding were female and the driver was a male, I arranged to have a female adult escort to ride along. I found out the next day that the air condition on the car was broken when they arrived at our home and the female escort left sick after their first stop. The trip took place on June day and temperatures were in the 90's. I did not receive notice prior about the A/C so I could reschedule nor an update on the escort. I tactly asked for a refund until the owner and I had an opportunity to come to an understanding and was threatened with an attorney. I'm not the least bit intimidated because I figure bad business references will go a long way. Long story short, don't rent a limo from Lords and Ladies Limo in Wendell.

  • Red Aug 1, 2007

    I know that address and I don't recall ever seeing a limo outside that building.

  • peacebee Aug 1, 2007

    seriousbusiness, we defend durham all the time...doesn't do any good for those who prefer to be ignorant. durham is like most cities...has its bad places, and its good places. And a lot of notoriety and bad press lately!

  • DayumKrazy1 Aug 1, 2007

    looks like this is one episode of 5 on your side that didn't fix the problem...sad for those kids, maybe somehow justice will be served to this crook in a way he done others!!!!

  • Tax Man Aug 1, 2007

    Skippee has registered his business as a NC Corporation in April 2007 - see: http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/Corp.aspx?PitemId=8184050

    Here is his most recent address change: 4819 Emperor Blvd, Durham, NC 27705

    Rollz Royce Buses & Limos Inc. is his official name.

    C'mon Durham DA - let's see some prosecution here - he is not a Duke Dude! Grand Jury should be considering Skippee's indictment as we type.

  • Tax Man Aug 1, 2007

    This thug needs to be prosecuted for the felony of taking money under false pretenses - he needs to be forced by the court to repay all these people and then spend some time in prison for his dirty deeds. He seems to have the same exact method of duping the people. The county needs to come after him with the full fury of the law. A lesson needs to be taught so others will not do this! Only full restitution, big fines and prison time will work.

  • seriousbusiness Aug 1, 2007

    Let me preface this statment by saying I'm not a Durham resident, nor a NC resident (Northern VA). Nothing good comes out of Durham? What's with the negative stigma attached to Durham? Is crime so prevelant there? When I was in the area Raleigh I always thought of Durham to be a quirky city. Reading many of the comments by locals leads me to belive its a hellhole... Something's up... Durham residents defend your city...

  • sevirj Aug 1, 2007

    I don't understand why they would have rented a limo from a company in Durham. Surely there was somewhere closer, that is n't exactly a 5 minute drive to Henderson.

    mparr7, where exactly do you live that lets you think that you can make a blanket statement about Durham (or any other city) like that? No matter where you live (unless of course you are from another planet) there are always people out there that are looking to take advantage of someone.

    He may not even be originally from Durham.

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