5 On Your Side

Lack of Action Riles Man Trying to Have Building Built

Posted September 25, 2007

— Nobody wants to pay for something they don't get, especially when the price tag is thousands of dollars. That's what happened to a Chatham County man, however.

The story involves two businesses − Premier Metal Structures and Superior Barns and Buildings − owned by the same person. Together, the firms are the subject of 14 complaints to the Better Business Bureau and six to the state attorney general.

In addition, 5 on Your Side has two complaints. One is from Eddie Roberson.

Eddie Roberson has a boat, a motor home and lots of lawn mowers. He says they are all supposed to be under cover.

Last April, Roberson said, he hired Martin Peele, owner of Premier Metal Structures in Asheboro and made a down payment of about $6,700 for a workshop for a mower-repair business, as well as three car ports to cover all of his vehicles.

Peele promised to start the job in May, Roberson said, but never did.

“They just kept putting me off for all reasons. He had a personal accident. He had two crews to quit on him,” Roberson said he was told. Then, he was told it was too hot for crews to work.

“It rained three days in a row,” was another excuse he said he was given.

Now, Peele says Premier Metal Structures is bankrupt. He has since opened a similar business under a new name, Superior Barns and Buildings, however. Roberson tracked down Peele to talk with him in person, he said.

“He promised me he was gonna honor my contract with Premier. He had all intentions of trying to get it built and everything,” Roberson said, “but still has not, and this was like the last of June.”

Peele directed us to his attorney, who would only say Peele's two companies are "totally separate" and that Peele doesn't owe Roberson anything because Premier is in bankruptcy.

Roberson doesn't think it's fair that Peele can legally just start over after taking his money and not providing the service he promised.

“What have you gotten for $6,755? Nothin’! Absolutely nothing but a big headache. I mean a big headache,” Roberson said.

Before Premier Barns, Peele had a third company name − Diamond Builders.

In most cases, it is legal for companies to go bankrupt and reopen under a new name.

Peele told 5 on Your Side on Tuesday that we should feel sorry for him because "it happens all the time" that he does work, but customers don't pay him – and that is why the company went bankrupt.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Tax Man Sep 27, 2007

    Also, he may be guilty of Bankruptcy Fraud - a major federal crime. If he has taken the money with the intent to defraud and later files bankruptcy to legitimate his fraud he is committing such a fraud. It seems his pattern is such and the Federal Prosecutor may want to examine this. C'mon Monica - you need to liaise with some law enforcement/district attorneys/US attorneys on your cases. The criminal justice system can assist with consumer complaints, especially when the bad guys are also criminals. Send this guy to jail!

  • Tax Man Sep 27, 2007

    You know a lot of professions regulate their own - and get rid of the bad guys. If all the competitors of this scumbag would just take him out back and let him know it was time to move on, that might be helpful - but I still think the crook needs the DA to prosecute him for fraud, deceptive business practices, taking property under false pretenses and grand theft! If he got to spend about 5 years in prison he probably would get the idea you cannot just take people's money - sure, he did not use a gun, but he is a dirty, rotten thief and needs to be punished!

  • RAINDOG Sep 27, 2007


  • Run_Forrest_Run Sep 26, 2007

    In most cases, it is legal for companies to go bankrupt and reopen under a new name.

    It should be illegal for them to open up under any name, new or old. This is obviously one man's attempt to rid himself of debt and start over.

    I hope the gentleman gets his money back - and goes to a reputable dealer to have his buildings built.

  • RyeBread Sep 26, 2007

    Good going, WRAL, for bringing this guy/business into the light!

  • bobbyj Sep 26, 2007

    guilty, lets move on.... time in the cross bar hotel may make the business work a little harder. Should not be able to get a business licenses after the first problem, state should close that loop hole. Out right stealing if you ask me.

  • houndsforme Sep 26, 2007

    Tax Man -- Sounds like you've got this guy pegged. I sure hope the district DA comes to the same conclusion.

  • dhall357 Sep 26, 2007

    Sounds like this guy needs an ole'fashion attention gettin' behind whuppin! It is amazing how effective they are. Can't hide behind your lawyer and really gets the message across that some folks will eventually get their money's worth one way or the other.

  • whoknew35 Sep 25, 2007

    That's too bad. Honest people getting ripped off. I know a Chatham County builder that's honest and dependable that would have loved to have built him a building. Give honest contractors a bad name.

  • Tax Man Sep 25, 2007

    Even though this scumbag contractor has bankrupted his first company, he may be guilty of taking property under false pretenses, a felony! This matter should be referred to the District Attorney for the County in which the money changed hands. If prosecuted, Peele could be convicted and ordered to pay the money back as part of his restitution, or could serve time. Also, the IRS and the NC Department of Revenue should be contacted as this thug probably has not paid his taxes on the money he stole and thus could go to prison for that - taxes are not discharged in bankruptcy under these circumstances. If all the people who were defrauded by Peele would come forward and talk to the DA he will probably be arrested - he has a pattern of cheating people and that is criminal. The money was a deposit and thus held in trust by Peele so he should have to repay it even in a bankruptcy. What a crook - dirty, stinking, lying, thief!