Local News

Wake Builder Faces Criminal Charges

Posted August 26, 2004

— A Wake County homebuilder now faces criminal charges for allegedly taking homebuyers' money and leaving them with empty lots.

James Capps' unfinished custom homes dot the eastern Wake County landscape. Some residents believe he left a trail of broken promises.

"He stole my money," homebuyer Brian Lane said.

"I feel for certain this is a criminal matter," homebuyer Ryan Vick said.

Knightdale police and Wake County sheriff's deputies agree with Lane and Vick. They arrested James Capps on two counts of obtaining property under false pretenses.

Detectives say Capps took $21,000 from Lane and $30,000 from Vick. Neither person has more than a hole in the ground to show for it.

"I want my baby to be in a new house. I want my wife to have the house she dreamed of, that I dreamed of," Lane said. "I don't care if he goes to jail. I just want my money back."

Capps' personal bankruptcy filings show that is a tall order. His family's financial troubles amount to more than $1 million of debt. Many homebuyers, suppliers and subcontractors claim he owes them money.

"If you know things are happening, then you shouldn't continue on the path you're continuing on and then try and hide behind bankruptcy to protect yourself. I don't think that's right," Vick said.

"He knew what he was doing and produced nothing. In my opinion, that's stealing," Lane said.

Capps was released on $6,000 bond while the courts work out his the criminal and civil proceedings. Andy Gay, Capps' attorney, contacted WRAL Thursday. He said the matter is a simple breach of contract -- a civil matter and any criminal charge is an abuse of process.


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