Consumer Watch: Oklahoma Contractor Accused Of Exploiting Elderly

Wednesday, February 23rd 2011, 10:21 pm
By: News 9

Amanda Taylor, News 9

MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma -- Vera Malone is just one of four people in Midwest City who've filed a police report against Henry Perez with R Construction Services. Each accuse him of home repair fraud and exploiting the elderly.

"He wanted more money, more money, more money," Vera Malone said.

She hired Perez to pave her driveway and garage. While she never paid him in full, she had to pay someone else to get it finished.

But the Consumer Watch team found, it's not just the elderly who have a beef with Henry Perez.

"He told me he already overspent for my home," Reginald Burchette said.

Burchette hired Perez to completely renovate his home, inside and out. It was to be a gift to his wife and children, who have put up with his military career for the past 16 years.

"I wanted to give her something she wanted," Burchette said.

The retired Army veteran paid R Construction Services $33,000, a little more than half of the total contracted price. Perez and his crew started the work, then Burchette said the work stopped.

That's when he contacted the Consumer Watch Team. Perez said he did underbid it to a point. Then when he added on more to it, that made the situation way out of hand.

Perez said Reginald kept adding to the contract, for instance, replacing a roof and adding expensive shingles.

He said the two never amended the contract. He claims he's worked for his pay, but Burchette doesn't see it that way.

"He just had stud walls up and the black weather wrap," Burchette said. "No insulation and so, that's where he left me."

As for the other complaints, Perez said Malone also wanted to add onto her contract, but in the other police reports, he admits there may be something to them.

"I bit more than I could chew," Perez said. "The other three people probably did have probable cause. I'm not going to deny that right now."

And in all fairness, an elderly customer of his said she was very happy with his work and his contract.

However, Midwest City police say they have enough complaints. Once their investigation is complete they're going to forward it to the District Attorney's office.

Also this is a great example of why it's important if any changes are going to be made after you hire a professional to get those in writing.

And kudos to the consumers in this story for paying in installments.