ORLANDO, Fla. - An unlicensed roofer alleged to have ripped off customers in Colorado is now in Central Florida, accused of taking customers' money here without doing any work.
Alex Ferguson has been the subject of at least six complaints filed with Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation since last year, records show.
"I don't have a side to the story," Ferguson told News 6 by phone when asked for his response to the allegations. He denied defrauding customers.
DBPR fined Ferguson $2,564 as part of a settlement agreement in September 2017 following accusations that he falsely presented himself as a licensed general contractor.
In January, DBPR issued Ferguson a notice to cease and desist after a customer in Lake Wales paid him $1,066 to install a new roof, records show.
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DBPR issued a second cease-and-desist notice to Ferguson in April following another complaint that he took money for a roofing job without having the proper license.
"I just couldn't believe I got taken like that," said Marty Fuchs, who claims he paid Ferguson a $2,300 down payment for a full roof replacement at his Lake County home shortly after Thanksgiving last year.
"He came across very genuine," Fuchs said. "He understood my predicament being a single parent and, at the time, unemployed."
Just three weeks after someone using Ferguson's name signed a U.S. Postal Service delivery confirmation slip showing he received the latest cease-and-desist notice, a customer in Orlando claims Ferguson accepted thousands of dollars for yet another roofing job.
"He was a smooth talker," Gilbert Feliciano said. "He knew what he was talking about."
Feliciano's mother, Antonia Garcia, hired Ferguson after family members found an advertisement for his services on the website Craigslist.
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A printed cost estimate Feliciano said his mother received from Ferguson states that he worked for JT Shaw Inc., a licensed roofing company based outside of Jacksonville.
"It was a reputable company," said Feliciano, who did research on JT Shaw Inc. and confirmed the company's license was in good standing before his mom hired Ferguson.
But as the family later learned, Ferguson has never worked for the company.
"Oh no, he's not an employee," owner Jeffrey Shaw told News 6. "I've had several complaints about (Ferguson), at least five or six."
Ferguson has also claimed to work for other legitimate construction companies including Front Range Contracting and Best Buy Roofing, complaints filed with DBPR indicate.
In 2015, police in Aurora, Colorado, investigated similar complaints about Ferguson.
According to the agency's Facebook page, a man who identified himself as Alex Ferguson advertised on Craigslist claiming to work for Colorado Custom Painting.
Ferguson would collect cash or checks from customers and never return to work, police said.
The Aurora Police Department has obtained an active municipal warrant for Ferguson, but it is only enforceable in Colorado, according to agency spokesman Ken Forrest.
Feliciano did not know about that warrant when his mother gave Ferguson a $4,300 check as a down payment for roof and other construction work at her Orlando home.
Two weeks after providing that payment, Feliciano said Ferguson returned with a document from Home Depot, which he reportedly claimed was a receipt for roofing supplies.
"He said he had already paid for it out of his pocket, which is why he needed additional money," Feliciano said.
On May 21, Feliciano's mother wrote Ferguson a second check totaling $1,800.
When News 6 contacted Home Depot, a company spokesperson confirmed the document Feliciano received was a cost estimate and not a receipt for paid merchandise. However, the paperwork Feliciano reportedly received from Ferguson looks different than a copy on file with Home Depot, according to the spokesperson, who did not elaborate.
When a News 6 reporter contacted Ferguson by phone, he provided many excuses why he had not yet begun work for Feliciano's mother including bad weather and the inability to find laborers.
"I'm going to do the job. I honor my word," Ferguson told News 6 after agreeing to begin the roofing project on Sept. 17.
Ferguson never showed up at the home that day.
When a News 6 reporter stopped by at Ferguson's home in Clermont that same day, a neighbor indicated that Ferguson had moved out the previous night.
"You just missed him," Eric Lindao said.
In a follow-up phone call, Ferguson told News 6 he had been in a motorcycle accident that prevented him from working.
"I wiped out on the side of the road," Ferguson said.
When News 6 inquired how he could even do roofing work without being a licensed roofing contractor, Ferguson claimed he worked for someone who held a valid roofing license.
"I'm just the labor," said Ferguson, who repeatedly declined to identify the contractor who hired him.
Ferguson told News 6 that his unidentified boss had not yet pulled the required permits to do roof work at the home of Feliciano’s mother.
When News 6 inquired how Ferguson would have been able to legally do roof work at the home on Sept. 17 prior to his alleged motorcycle accident preventing him from working, Ferguson did not provide an answer.
Ferguson said he was working with authorities in Colorado to clear up the arrest warrant there, a claim News 6 could not immediately confirm.
"I'll be out there this week (and start the job),” Ferguson said.
One month later, he still has not begun the work.
"You don't do that to innocent people," Feliciano said. "He knows it's going to cost you more money (to file a lawsuit) than what you originally put down."
He and Fuchs said they can no longer afford to have their roofs fixed and are looking for help.
"(Ferguson) is around somewhere," said Fuchs, who has filed a complaint with the Lake County Sheriff's Office. "When he pops up, all I can hope is that the law catches up with him."
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