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Cary contractor charged with swindling disabled homeowner

Posted December 22, 2010
Updated December 23, 2010

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— A Cary contractor was charged Wednesday with taking money from a Youngsville homeowner and not doing the requested home renovations.

Ashley Cameron Rhodes, 44, of 2210 Stephens Road in Cary, was charged with exploiting a disabled or elderly person, three counts of obtaining property by false pretense and two counts of writing worthless checks.

Jimmy Ray, 63, said he hired Rhodes in August 2009 to fix up his Youngsville home so he could sell it. He said Rhodes worked for about nine months before disappearing.

"He took all my money, vanished and I haven't seen him since," said Ray, who is disabled and has used a wheelchair for more than 30 years.

Ray said he gave Rhodes $76,500 to not only cover building materials and labor but also a couple of personal loans to the contractor. Arrest warrants state that Rhodes wrote two checks to Ray late last year, totaling $4,700, but both bounced.

Cary contractor charged with swindling disabled homeowner Cary contractor charged with swindling disabled homeowner

Large sections of Ray's home remain a work in progress. Flooring and siding are missing, cabinets are unfinished and a deck wasn't built.

"He took my whole life away from me, just about," Ray said.

Rhodes, who worked for a family business, Rhodes & Son Builders, ignored Ray's repeated attempts to contact him in recent months, warrants state.

He was being held Wednesday in the Wake County jail under a $50,000 bond and was expected to appear in court Thursday morning.

In an e-mail Wednesday evening, Rhodes’ wife, Robin Rhodes, denied Ray’s claims, saying her husband didn’t complete the work because Ray threatened him.

Franklin County investigators have said they also are searching for Robin Rhodes, in the case, which Robin Rhodes has denied.

"I'd like to have my money back that he took," Ray said. "That's what I would like to happen, and I'd like to get my house finished, too."

He said it could cost him another $15,000 to complete his home repairs, but he doesn't have the money. So, he is relying on the kindness of friends, including Glenn Lee, to finish the work on his house.

"I'm trying to help somebody, especially at Christmas," Lee said. "A lot of people have it worse than we have. I'm just trying to make it better for him."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • YeaOh Dec 23, 2010

    Just like a govt employee to withhold doing their job for more money, the school system has it down to a science. I think on the street this is call extortion and is illegal.

  • kjackson47 Dec 23, 2010

    Stealing is bad but from disabled or senoir is totally messed up. Hope this creep if he is guilty gets what's coming to him

  • gunny462 Dec 23, 2010

    They arrested Juncyard? wow!

  • just my2cents Dec 23, 2010

    What a loser. If our justice system worked, he would never be able to swindle again, because he would be doing time.

  • rhodes755973 Dec 23, 2010

    Mr. Rhodes is not from Cary but from Garner and he has a long criminal background which has never resulted in any prison time so I'm sure this case will prove to be no different.

  • dlk13ster Dec 23, 2010

    "only to have lawyers plead them out with no consiquenses because God forbid we actually take away a criminals rights....geez"-Responsibleforactions

    I was wondering how long it would take for someone to blame the justice system for this.

    With respect, sir, if you TRULY wish to be "responsibleforactions," how about you pay higher taxes so that we can hire more ADAs; that way, maybe they won't have to be arguing cases as they read them for the first time, and won't have to rely on plea deals to clean out the docket, so they won't have to prioritize cases and cherry-pick which ones they can afford/have time to take to trial?

    And another thing; for all the people who are quick bash Cary, or "liberals," or who denounce people "afraid of doing hard work," here's a thought:

    This story contains the victim's address.

    So how many of YOU are planning to show up with a hammer/nail gun and help this poor man out? And for the rest, what's stopping you?

    That's what I thought. Merry Christmas.

  • Wolfpacker_NCSU Dec 23, 2010

    When did people start paying in full BEFORE the job starts? Why did this guy give out 2 loans to the contractor? I'm sorry, but I don't understand how being disabled had anything to do with this story, other than the homeowner couldn't do the work himself. It didn't have anything to do with his bad judgement. I hope he sues, gets his money back, and the contractor (and perhaps his wife) goes to jail. But honestly, this guy was taken for a ride because he allowed it to happen.

  • allanonofnc Dec 23, 2010

    Why are people so gullible that they would do something like this. Don't you think that major red flags should have gone up when the contractor was coming to Mr. Ray for LOANS! People need to start being responsible for themselves. $76,000 in repairs? Come on. That house must have been nearly condemned if it needed that much work.

  • GALNC Dec 23, 2010

    Sorry, but it has nothing to do with Cary..get over it.

    It has to do with dishonest people taking advantage of someone. Hopefully, the scumbag and his wife are nailed good for this. Glad to hear he is getting help with getting some items fixed.

  • Wheelman Dec 23, 2010

    "What this must be a mistake ?? A Cary-ite that is robbing from a disabled person??? Must be trying to keep up with the neighbors who themselves are over extended. Welcome to Cary the new Durham....notagain1903
    December 23, 2010 9:05 a.m."

    Wondered how long it would be before someone took a shot a Cary over this. I'm sure there aren't any crooks where you live.