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Contractor charged after work on soldier's Cumberland home abandoned

Posted September 19, 2014

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— A Raeford contractor and his wife face fraud charges for taking payment to make a wounded soldier's home handicap accessible and then not finishing the work.

Jason Fields, 40, and Christina Fields, 36, both of Stonesthrow Lane, were charged Thursday night with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and conspiracy. They were released on $5,000 unsecured bonds.

Special Forces LTC Rob Pickel lost both his legs when his unit was targeted by a suicide bomber in Pakistan. While he was recovering in an Army hospital, his wife hired the Fieldses’ company, Jason's Home Improvements, in July to redesign the master bathroom in their Cumberland County home so he could get his wheelchair into the shower.

Authorities say the Fieldses took $3,900 in advance – half of the $7,800 quote on the project – started making repairs and then stopped working.

"Some issue crept up almost immediately after he started the work," Pickel said. "Quickly, we found out he was trying to do this on the lowest cost to him so that he could make the biggest profit. I don't have a problem with people trying to make a profit, but if your going to do that, be on the up and up."

"He also puts in the description that he's going to do plumbing and electrical, which he is not qualified to do," Carolyn Pickel said. "He's not licensed to do that, and he did that."

In a telephone interview Friday, Christina Fields said her company stopped doing work at the home after the Pickels breached their contract twice and caused delays in work. There was also a dispute over a bathtub upgrade.

"Even on the job site while Jason was working, Mrs. Pickel was asking for a refund on the tub," she said. "We explained to them the cost of the tub and why we sent them the bill for it."

The Green Beret Foundation, which has a fund to help wounded warriors with such projects, paid for the work on the Pickels' home. Authorities said Jason Fields rejected a check made out to his company and insisted that the payment be made out to him. It's unclear if the group can recoup the money to hire another contractor.

21 Comments

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  • sarken333 Sep 25, 2014

    They are running a group called Cumberland County Classifieds and monitoring posts so they can delete anyone who isnt on their side. They have an old lady posting about everybody then threatening to sue anyone who posts or talks about them and this article.
    Several people in the Army Wives groups have come forward about similar things things couple has done in the past and about fundraisers that the wife held that was never given to the victim. Bad things come around and now its there for them. The more they bash others the worse it looks. In the mean time, get all of your info together and get ready to sue the pants off.

  • USMC Vet Sep 19, 2014

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    True. I wonder what licenses the Fields DO have.

  • babylaceycarpenter Sep 19, 2014

    As has been stated, This is only one side of a story of a 3 story novel. There is 1 more "other side", and then there is side 3, also known as "the truth".

  • Sherrill Craig Sep 19, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Well, your opinion, of course, but I call some of the people who do business with one of the listed vendors and I get a run down and see if the review is accurate. All I was stating is that if you are hiring someone to build do work in your house, you have to do your own due diligence to ensure they are qualified to do the work.

  • Christopher Byrne Sep 19, 2014
    user avatar

    Yep. One sided. What's the old adage about every story?

  • maryedwardsxxoo40 Sep 19, 2014

    I am sure that more people will come forward saying that something similar has happened to them! If this company did a contract for a bathroom renovation that they were not licensed to do then they are at fault! This couple was charged and there must be legit evidence to charge them with a crime! Wounded warrior or not this company did wrong by not having electrical or plumbing licenses!

  • wlbbjb Sep 19, 2014

    First of all, you should call county building inspection office to verify contractor is licensed and if they have received any complaints on contractor in question. Second, contractor knew he was working without license and most likely plumbing and electrical permits.

  • USMC Vet Sep 19, 2014

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    You think the friends and family of companies, contractors, and other service providers listed on Angie's List don't go there to pad the reviews for them there?
    ROFLOL
    If "anyone" can get an account somewhere, I wouldn't trust the information/reviews posted there.

  • USMC Vet Sep 19, 2014

    Did this soldier not apply to the VA for this work? They WILL arrange for it to be done, so the injured soldier can live a somewhat normal life.

  • Local Native Sep 19, 2014

    First and foremost, if the contractor truly did take advantage of the wounded warrior, they deserve every penalty possible in a court of law.

    Now, as for this article. Just another example of how our news media puts a one sided spin on a story, or tells more of one side than the other. I have many independent contractor friends who are very honest hard working people. And there are just as many horror stories by them about dishonest customers trying to milk them unfairly out of anything they can on a job. So, let's all not be to hasty to thrown stones at this contractor.

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