5 On Your Side

Contractor faces jail time for work left undone in Wake County

Posted February 6, 2019 5:14 p.m. EST
Updated February 6, 2019 6:52 p.m. EST

— A contractor accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars for projects that were left unfinished will serve time in jail, although bilked customers may never see their money back.

Roger Simmons and his company, Modish Remodeling, are linked to at least nine instances of home projects left undone in Wake and Durham counties.

Simmons was jailed in Durham County on two charges for taking $12,000 from a client but not doing her garage renovation. He was charged in Wake County in connection with five unfinished projects.

Diane Dieter, of Wake Forest, paid Simmons $18,000 to finish her basement and attic.

Dieter told 5 On Your Side that the drywall in the attic didn't pass inspection and had to be redone. At the time, she wanted Simmons arrested.

"I would like him punished and then I would like him to never do this to anyone else again because it's just been a nightmare," she said.

She will get her wish after Simmons pleaded guilty in Wake County. He was sentenced to at least 10 months jail time, followed by probation. The judge also ordered Simmons to repay a total of $70,000 to his victims.

Dieter is still a little disappointed, because Simmons "wreaked such havoc on her life over the past year," she said. The $13,000 in restitution she may or may not receive doesn't begin to cover the additional $37,000 she says she's had to spend to redo the mess Simmons left behind.

He faces another court date for the Durham County case.

A 5 On Your Side Investigation found Simmons has faced problems in other states. Reviews from Home Envy Design Construction, a company Simmons owned in Texas, say he skipped out on a job.

In Virginia, there are 23 court judgments against him, totaling $52,000 that he owed individuals and businesses. One Virginia case ended with his contractor's license revoked back in 2004.

Simmons does not have a North Carolina contractor's license, although a license is only required for jobs where the value of the work exceeds $30,000.

The costly hassles of these homeowners are another reminder to do lots of research before you hire someone to do work for you. Check online reviews and actually talk with previous customers.