POWHATAN, Va. (WRIC) — Homeowners across Central Virginia are speaking up after the Powhatan Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office released the name of a man wanted in multiple counties for construction fraud. The man was arrested in Spotsylvania County Thursday evening.
Michael Allen Kersey, 44 is wanted in multiple different jurisdictions for contracting without a license and felony construction fraud. He currently is wanted in Powhatan, Colonial Heights and Stafford County after failing to appear. Kersey also has charges pending in Richmond.
Rob Cerullo is the Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for Powhatan County. According to Cerullo, Kersey was charged in 2021 and requested a trial by jury. Kersey is wanted in Powhatan County after not showing up for his jury trial that was scheduled for Wednesday.
Kersey’s construction fraud charge in Powhatan stems from a complaint by a woman who alleges she paid Kersey $25,000 to install an inground pool which he never finished.
8News spoke to the woman who lives in Powhatan who would like to remain anonymous. The woman claims she signed a contract back in 2019. The woman said she paid the amount. She said Kersey showed up and delivered items, but then he started to make excuses when it came to completing the work. According to the woman, he would blame his absence on weather conditions or that he didn’t have a ride.
The woman told 8News, that he did reply to her inquiries, but at one point was a no-show for two months. She said he kept stalling and eventually skipped town in 2020.
According to the woman, Kersey gave her a fake company name, a fraudulent contractor number and a fake address. She had to hire another company to complete the job which wasn’t an easy task because there were mistakes made during the initial installation process.
The woman said she reached out to the state who informed her that she should take her case to Powhatan County.
“My hope in coming forward was to prevent him from being able to do this,” she said. “Unfortunately it has taken three years. I wanted to stop this beforehand.”
While Kersey was dealing with this active court case, other victims allege they were put through similar situations.
According to the Powhatan County Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office, he’s also facing a jury trial in Colonial Heights for a separate charge of construction fraud.
A Colonial Heights family alleges they’re out around $35,000 after hiring Kersey to put in a pool.
Gene Beemer said he paid thousands of dollars to Kersey, including $16,000 in cash for the pool itself. According to Beemer, He paid $4,000 for the installation and also paid for gravel, dirt removal, lights, a heater, etc. He alleges he never got everything he paid for and ultimately had to fire Kersey in 2021.
Beemer told 8News, that Kersey wouldn’t take his calls and then blocked him.
He said other companies wouldn’t take the project due to legalities. Finally, Beemer said he paid a company nearly $10,000 to tear down everything Kersey did and it took the crew two weeks.
Cerullo with the Powhatan County Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office said they have been getting a lot of calls and have been learning of more victims. Others have been turning to social media to post about their own experiences dealing with Kersey.
A woman who would like to remain anonymous, hired Kersey in the Summer of 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and so did a few of her neighbors. According to the woman, her rooftop was leaking into her daughter’s bedroom and couldn’t find a contractor anywhere.
She said that an acquaintance of a friend of hers told her that they knew someone that could do the job. It ended up being Kersey.
She told 8News that her homeowner’s insurance wouldn’t pay for the job and a representative told her that Kersey seemed to be knowledgeable.
She said she paid Kersey $10,000 to complete the job and was pleased at first. Allegedly, it got really hot last summer and the material on her rooftop deck started to bubble. A sludge-like material was melting behind the siding.
She was told that Kersey did not use the right temperature adhesive and wasn’t licensed when he was doing the job. She said that she had contacted Kersey because she purchased a one-year warranty on the rooftop deck but he never showed up.
Allegedly, people began knocking on her door asking for money that he had contracted out. The woman said they told her they were never paid for their job.
“Finally they caught him,” she said.
She has hired another contractor and is being charged $12,000 to have everything repaired.
Another Central Virginia resident, Mary Griffin, told 8news that Kersey owes her over $3,000.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Anyone with information should contact the Powhatan Sheriff’s Office at 804-598-5662.