Tue, Sept. 29

Man accused of contractor fraud could change plea

Seth Lee Jackson

Seth Lee Jackson

CAMP VERDE – A Cordes Lakes man, who arrested in the spring of 2019, on multiple felony charges stemming from an unfinished roofing job in Cornville, is still going to court on various charges.

Seth Lee Jackson, 36, is due to appear before Yavapai County Superior Judge Michael Bluff on Aug. 24 for an Donald hearing and a possible change of plea.

According to a news release from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, 35-year-old Seth Jackson was booked into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde on an $11,500 bond. He faced felony charges of fraudulent schemes and artifices, theft, and acting in the capacity of a contractor without a license.

Deputies first learned about Jackson June 30 after a property owner on Russell Flats Road in Cornville reported he deposited over $19,000 with Jackson for a new roof.

Jackson claimed he was a licensed contractor and licensed to conduct such business the victim knew Jackson had been associated with roofing companies in the past,” the YCSO news release states. The news release continues that the original agreement between Jackson and the victim was negotiated and signed in December 2018 and covered the installation of a new roof on the victim’s home currently under construction.

“Jackson represented himself as a licensed contractor starting a new business of his own, known as ‘24/7 Roofing’ with a Camp Verde address,” according to the news release.

The total cost of the project was $39,000, which required a $19,500 deposit to cover the cost of purchasing the initial materials.

The victim wrote the deposit check to Jackson directly, not using the roofing company name. The Sheriff’s Office reported that when the basic structure was ready for roofing, Jackson never brought out the necessary materials to begin the project. Instead, he brought out a small trailer containing junk metal parts and claimed it was part of the job.

As the lack of any work continued, the victim had to repair and replace the felt roofing material due to the weather. Jackson then put on a small amount of flashing material around edges, but never started roofing the home, YCSO reported. The victim provided deputies with text exchanges between him and Jackson over the next several months.

Jackson admitted using some of the money to cover issues related to personal problems and buy tools. Nothing in the agreement permitted the use of the victim’s money for these purposes, according to YCSO. The victim eventually reported Jackson to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors while still providing him the opportunity over several months to complete the work, even offering to help when needed.

“At one point during this time, the victim even received text-based photos from Jackson purporting to show roofing work on the victim’s home when, in fact, it was not the victim’s home,” YCSO reported.

Since the report on June 30, 2019, deputies attempted to locate Jackson in the Camp Verde area without success. Jackson apparently had been evicted from a residence on West Northern Avenue in Camp Verde. Deputies confirmed Jackson was not a registered contractor and had several unrelated law enforcement contacts in the area. Finally, on July 10 of last year, deputies found Jackson at a family home on South Black Mountain in Cordes Lakes.

When confronted, Jackson claimed he was working for another roofing company now after being unable to get his business running. He admitted he was not a licensed contractor. Deputies contacted that company and discovered Jackson was not on their payroll and used this job reference as a means of telling the victim this other roofing company would complete the work.

It became clear to deputies that Jackson did not have the ability to complete the work, legal ability with licensing, tools, or funds to purchase all needed material or even attempt to complete any work for the victim. The Arizona Registrar of Contractors conducted a separate investigation into Jackson’s activity, YCSO reported.

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