News 12 at 6 o'clock / April 17, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) --"I was looking for someone to do some tile work for me because I had linoleum on my floors," Gloria Samuels said.
It is a decision Samuels is now regretting after hiring a man she has learned has an extensive criminal record.
Jeffery Lee Vaughner, 43, has served prison time for forgery and has an extensive criminal history including convictions for theft by deception and breach of trust.
That is not all a News 12 investigation uncovered.
Authorities say Vaughner's business dealings have landed him in and out of prison for the past 12 years.
Had Samuels checked his name on Google, she said it could have saved her a real the headache.
"I was looking for someone to do some tile work for me because I had linoleum on my floors and I wanted to upgrade my floors to make them look better," Samuels said.
A decision she is now regretting after hiring Jeffery's Quality Service to install tile in her bathrooms and kitchen. Samuels said on March 6 she paid $800 down and the remaining balance of $500 before the work was even finished.
"I wouldn't have done that but I thought we were building a rapport because he was saying he was a preacher," Samuels said.
She showed News 12 where she said Vaughner made a mess leaving jagged tiles and uneven grout around her toilets and along base boards. We will get back to that mug shot in a minute.
"Just the finished product it was an F," Samuels said.
The Better Business Bureau gives the company and F rating too. Samuels said Vaughner agreed to refund a portion of her money by certified check but that was last month.
"I will not let Mr. Vaughner get away with this," Samuels said.
12 On Your Side found Vaugner's been in trouble with the law in Columbia, McDuffie, Jefferson, Warren and Edgefield Counties. Charges that include theft of services, breach of trust and 1st degree forgery. And Vaughner has even served time in prison.
We showed his rap-sheet to Samuels. "Wow, okay," said Samuels with a look of surprise.
Oh and by the way, Vaugner's business address listed with the Better Business Bureau? We handed her a golf ball. Okay, a golf course," Samuels said.
That is right. We did a Google street view search and that address came back to a golf course on Highway 102 in Wrens. We even drove there to see for ourselves.
So we tried to reach Vaughner by phone. He said a relatives home is next to the course. As for tile work? Vaughner said the fixes are just cosmetic.
Meanwhile Samuels said this has been a tough lesson learned. "He said he was giving me a discount but if that was going to be the discount that I thought I was going to get from the work that I received that's not a discount that I want," said Samuels.
Shortly before this investigation aired, Vaughner told us he would refund $650 to Samuels on Monday. However when we talked with Samuels she said he would only do so if News 12 did not air this story.
Meanwhile there are things you should do before hiring a contractor. First check the rating with the Better Business Bureau. Next make sure the company is licensed and bonded if applicable. Also verify the address of the business like we did to make sure it matches.
Even Google the owner's name and see what comes up. You just may be surprised.