HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. - A roofer is facing criminal charges after he allegedly took thousands of dollars from homeowners but didn't finish the work they contracted.
Randall Blake Copeland is accused of home improvement fraud and theft. Whitestown Police and the Boone County Sheriff's Office are also investigating and considering filing charges stemming from alleged fraud in their jurisdictions.
The Artman family says they fell victim to Copeland in 2018. A storm had passed through and damaged their roof, screens and gutters.
“He did an inspection on the roof,” Dale Artman said.
Artman said insurance agreed to cover the damage. They wrote Copeland and his business, Damage Solutions, L.L.C, two checks totaling almost $9,000.
“But he has never done a thing to this house. He has never done the work,” Artman told the CBS4 Problem Solvers.
Artman said he hasn’t seen Copeland since at least October 2018.
“And contacting this gentleman is almost impossible,” he added. “It makes me feel bad because the insurance company paid for this, and I have nothing to show for what they paid.”
Artman filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office and filed a report with Westfield police. He soon found out he was not the only person to come in contact with Copeland.
“This guy needs to be stopped,” he said.
CBS4 found a whole Facebook group full of people claiming that Copeland stole from them. As of this article, there were at least 17 people telling similar stories.
At some point, Copeland reportedly sent the victims a letter. In it, he wrote, “it is my sincere desire that I would like to express my personal apology for the time frame in which it has taken to get repairs performed to your home or business as well as the lack of communication. I personally take full responsibility and wish to offer an apology from the bottom of my heart. I have made a commitment to perform repairs outlined in your contract and fully intend in honoring those commitments.”
Artman said he thought Copeland was just trying to buy time.
Reporter Angela Brauer went to Damage Solutions, LLC. In person. Even though the open sign was lit up, no one was in the office. Copeland answered the phone. He admitted that his business Damage Solutions, LLC has struggled in the past year. He promised that he would “make it right” and refund the victims their money. When asked when that would happen, though, Copeland didn’t have an answer. He said he would consult with his attorney and call back for comment. That never happened.
CBS4 tried again to contact Copeland on September 16, the day the Hendricks County Prosecutor filed charges. He reiterated that he would have his attorney call or send a statement. We went to his apartment, but Copeland didn’t answer the door.
Right now, Artman is working with Westfield police on his case. Other victims reportedly live in Brownsburg, Whitestown, and as far north as Lafayette. The state is looking into the cases.
In the meantime, Copeland is facing a near $48,000 lawsuit in which American Builders & Contractors Supply Co, Inc, claims he owes money for materials.