::AG Cooper Says Man "Ripped Off" Elderly
From Raleigh Chonicle Staff Reports
Thursday, July 19, 2007
RALEIGH - According to North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's office, a man left a Wake County elderly couple with health problems with holes in their floors and exposed wires after taking $140,000 of their money.
Cooper said he asked the courts to keep John Shearer, also known as John Schearer, and his company Home Remodeling Solutions, from going back into the home repair business after he evidently left a couple.
The Attorney General's office said they asked Wake County Superior Court Judge Abraham Jones to halt Shearer from repairing or remodeling any more homes in North Carolina and was granted that request.
"We've stopped this so-called contractor from ripping up any more homes and ripping off any more consumers," Cooper said. "This couple spent their hard-earned money trying to improve their home but got left with a disaster."
According to a statement issued by the NC Attorney General's office, Shearer took more than $140,000 from a Wake Forest couple to originally make their home wheelchair accessible but left them with "unfinished rooms, holes in the floor and live wires dangling from the ceiling."
Cooper also asked the courts to order that if Shearer sells his own home that the proceeds would be used to reimburse consumers.
As alleged in Cooper's complaint, Shearer agreed in June 2006 to work on George and Carol McPhauls home in Wake Forest in eastern Wake County.
The McPhauls are retired state employees who have had some health problems.
George McPhaul recently had a stroke that left him wheelchair bound, said the AG's office and Carol McPhaul is legally blind.
As a result of George McPhaul's needs for using his wheelchair, they hired Shearer for $84,000 to add a handicapped accessible entrance, bathroom and bedroom, to modernize the kitchen.
"A year later, the McPhauls have written Shearer checks worth $124,000 and incurred credit card charges of at least $20,000 but the work remains incomplete and their once well-kept home is in disrepair," says the Attorney General's office in a statement.
Cooper office claims that "Shearer ripped down walls throughout the home, left live wires exposed and left the floors uneven with holes in the subfloor through which the dirt crawlspace is visible...[leaving] parts of the home...now open to the exterior and to the elements, causing the McPhauls' utility bills to rise sharply."
As stated in the complaint, Shearer claimed to be a licensed contractor but is not and also failed to get proper permits from the Town of Wake Forest and failed to perform work up to code.
In North Carolina, all contractors who work on projects valued at $30,000 or more are required to be licensed as general contractors by the Licensing Board for General Contractors, which requires a test to be passed before a license is granted.
The NC Attorney General's office asked for any other consumers who are dissatisfied with work performed by Shearer or his company are encouraged to call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. ::