Chesterfield woman claims contractor took thousands of dollars, then vanished

Chesterfield woman claims contractor took thousands of dollars, then vanished

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield woman is wishing she had followed her instincts before she hired a contractor to put a new roof on her home.

She called 12 On Your Side because she has no new roof, no money and not much hope that things will be made right.

"A lot of tears for about three days," Christine Edwards said.

The Chesterfield woman is talking about her reaction after she realized a contractor had run off with nearly three thousand dollars of her money.

"I didn't listen to my gut instinct," Edwards said.

Her Chesterfield County home is in dire need of repairs - including a new roof. The current one has hail damage, it leaks and she suspects mold is growing there. A relative recommended Bruce Godfrey and his company All the Way Roofing.

Godfrey had done work for that relative, so Edwards felt comfortable doing business with him. Plus, she liked what he said.

"He said, 'I can do this for you, and I can help your insurance pay for it, and it may not be any money but your deductible out of your pocket,' which I thought was a great idea," Edwards said.

With his help, weeks later she got a check from her insurance company for more than $2,900.

The contractor said that was only enough money to cover the materials - not his labor - but that he'd help her out as a favor to the one who'd recommended him.

"We signed a contract together. We went 30 minutes over an entire contract and signed it together, and we took a picture of it, and he promised me he'd do the work, and he was supposed to show up two weeks later," Edwards said.

But he said first he'd need the total amount up front so he could buy the material.

"I know you should never pay ahead of time, I know better than that," Edwards said.

Against her better judgment, she wrote him a check for the full amount. He later sent her an invoice indicating the material had been purchased.

The day he was supposed to begin the work, he didn't show. In fact, she hasn't seen him since.

"I've texted, I've called, I've emailed him," Edwards said.

So she called police and 12 On Your Side.

Investigator Eric Philips called Godfrey and never got a return call, so he tried tracking him down at the address listed on his business card. It is an apartment building on 19th Street in Richmond, but no one answered the door.

Philips looked for a business license for Godfrey or his company with the state and didn't find one.

Philips also checked with the store where Godfrey allegedly bought the materials for Edwards' job, but the so-called invoice was just a quote. The material was never purchased.

"This really makes me question how I judge people," Edwards said. "I'm not that type person, and now I feel like, how can I trust anybody else?"

Edwards plans to file charges with police.

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