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Thread Like Summary
esshup, gehajake, RAH, RStringer, Steve_
Total Likes: 11
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#526799 10/15/2020 10:59 PM
by Steve_
I've mentioned a few of the details in the "What did you do at your pond today?" thread, but some new evidence has just come forward, and I have concluded that I have been scammed out of $8500. Here's my pond builder: http://www.co.stokes.nc.us/sheriff/files/nbaxter.pdf

Yep, a warrant out for his arrest, for taking money from a victim with prior knowledge that he would not be completing the job. On top of that, this guy has 7 felonies and 3 misdemeanors dating back to 2006, where he stole a $50,000 backhoe. Also has numerous drug charges, failure to appear charges, possession of a firearm by a felon, and many "obtaining property by false pretenses" charges. My last contact with him was Tuesday, in which he said he would be out today (Thursday) but never showed up. Phone is off, all calls go straight to voicemail, and he hasn't answered my texts all day.

To make matters worse, he has taken several loads of timber to the lumbermill for me. Well, that's what he was supposed to do. I called them and they said they have never heard of him, nor me. So, he apparently took the money from that as well, or just kept the trees for himself, who knows.

I have filed a police report, and need to go to the magistrate's office to press formal charges tomorrow. I'm saddened, angry, and heartbroken that my dream of owning a pond has come to a halt. I'm upset that I let him get the best of me, and fell for his scheme. I'm upset that he has also claimed victims before me. Lastly, I'm saddened that the justice system has failed this man, and let him continually wreak havoc on the general public. It makes you wonder how a known crook can just keep playing his game, go through the motions, take people's money, and just be free to do it over and over. Sorry for the off topic rant, but that needed to be said.

For the record, I'm not a rich person. I borrowed most of this money from my 401k and the rest from a personal loan. I don't have the funds to just go hire another pond builder to finish the job.

Lessons to be learned:

  • If it's too good to be true, it probably is
  • Don't pay for more than the work that has been done
  • Don't let someone's good intentions get the best of you
  • Always assume that they don't have your best interest in mind
  • Get every detail in writing, and remember that texts and emails are better than phone calls in court
  • Get an estimated completion date in writing
  • Find out how big their crew is, what kind of machinery they will be using, and how many hours per day they plan on working
  • Ask about how the weather will affect their work
Liked Replies
#529542 Jan 9th a 05:20 PM
by Dave Davidson1
Dave Davidson1
Re reading all of this and have come to a conclusion. There is a shortage of butt whuppins and way to much government and lawyering.
2 members like this
#526827 Oct 16th a 08:43 PM
by RAH
I must say that I too have lost faith in the legal system based on similar experiences. Its a hard pill to swallow. Sorry that this happened to you.
1 member likes this
#526901 Oct 19th a 07:44 PM
by teehjaeh57
Sorry Steve - this is exactly why I encouraged you to contact me when you were inquiring about sealing ponds about a month ago. I was going to walk you through every step of the pond building process and would have likely learned about this contractor through our discussions and would have strongly encouraged you to avoid someone trying to build your pond with a skid steer and mini E. I also would have likely learned about his request for $ up front and would have related it as a red flag. I guess this is water under the bridge.

FORUM if pond/fishery pro offers free consulting time I strongly suggest you take them up on it. This serves as a prime example of why...and also why the Forum is also so valuable. ASK QUESTIONS! We are here to help!
1 member likes this
#526999 Oct 22nd a 10:10 PM
by Steve_
Update, I’ve been in contact with a detective and it turns out that this guy has been ripping people off all summer long, peddling his pool scam. He’s also ripped people off from offering tree removal services. I put a notice out on a Facebook group that covers a large portion of my area and you would not believe the messages I received from people who he ripped off, several people with $50k pools. Silver lining, one of his victims was able to get a hold of his business insurance policy information, and we’ve all took out a claim against it. If all goes well, they should cover getting my pond, and everyone’s pools finished.
1 member likes this
#527015 Oct 23rd a 07:57 PM
by RAH
I have never heard of insurance that covers a company's customers and allows them to file claims.
1 member likes this
#527299 Nov 4th a 05:34 AM
by esshup
Steve_, give the state forester a call.

You could also give these guys a shout and see if there is anyone local to you that could give you an estimate on the price of the timber that was stolen. https://www.ncforestry.org/
1 member likes this
#527335 Nov 6th a 12:04 AM
by crimsondave
I'm shocked that a guy like that was bonded. You'll probably get your money back (at least part of it) if he's a bonded contractor.
1 member likes this
#529503 Jan 7th a 11:30 PM
by Steve_
Originally Posted by Bobbss
Is your water level staying 8' deep? If so and all they did was dig a hole and it stays full, then you could try renting a skid steer for a weekend and see how much bigger you can make it and if it will still hold water.

Yeah, it has held water and never dropped once. I'm pretty sure there's a spring in the bottom of it, or at least that's what the felon/scammer/A-hole told me. It's just really muddy due to the surrounding terrain being exposed dirt/clay. The skid steer isn't a bad idea, of course, I've never operated one before. I'll see how my finances are in 6-9 months and maybe have a plan put together for a new fall dig.

@RAH, thank you sir. As you know, my ultimate goal is to be able to raise blue cats and the hole I have now is too small for that.
1 member likes this
#529552 Jan 9th a 10:04 PM
by RStringer
Yes tht fella is one REAL good ass whipping away from straighten up his ack.
1 member likes this
#529672 Jan 14th a 04:16 PM
by liquidsquid
Of note, a little off topic: We purchased our house for $146K back in 2001, a hell of a deal/steal. If we stuck with the original mortgage, we would have paid about $180K in interest, More than the value of the house at purchase time. Back in 2001, it was our first house, and we couldn't get a reasonable interest rate.

Go here to fart around with various loan parameters:

So original loan at 6.8% over 30 year would have cost me $180K
Same loan a 3.99% would have cost me $94K
Dropping to 15 year at 3.99% would cost me $43K

So from original to now not considering the 7 years stuck on the crap loan it would be a $137K pond! Out here, I would need more than 16 acres to support that.
1 member likes this
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