Charles Powell is accused of being hired to install swimming pools for homeowners.
He dug holes in backyards for people who hire him and left them without a pool and a big bill, authorities say.
“You have to be licensed to install swimming pools. In fact, the code for that is a little stricter with swimming pools than it is with home repairs,” the Lauderdale County sergeant said. Andy Corbett.
A Lauderdale County grand jury has indicted Charles Powell for theft by deception and home repair fraud.
It’s a crime Corbett says he’s seen before, but not like this.
“We’ve had home repair fraud, but on that scale, normally we don’t see that where there’s almost $50,000 at stake. That’s a lot of money,” Corbett said.
In fact, the nearly $50,000 damage that Corbett refers to involves a single victim.
“He got out, basically dug a hole and then drove off. And left one victim with a $46,000 bill she had already paid. And the other with $15,500.”
Investigators say it didn’t stop there.
“After that, he dissolved his business on Facebook and was unsuccessful in contacting the victims or trying to get their money back,” Corbett said.
Corbett offered people ways to check the validity of a business: “One way is to make sure they’re a member of the Alabama Council of General Contractors. That person wasn’t. “
Although Powell is charged with four crimes in Lauderdale County, Corbett believes there may be more victims.