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How to avoid contractor trouble | News

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How to avoid contractor trouble

ATLANTA -- A local contractor is trying to stay out of the spotlight and out of jail.  Some of his customers tell us he took their money, didn't finish the jobs, and now a warrant has been issued for his arrest. 

His name is Jonathan Davis and he has worked under the company name of Prestige Construction and Renovations and most recently Prestige Construction Consulting, PCC. 

"He took off with my money and left my yard a mess," Cynthia Ivester told 11Alive news. She hired Davis in February of 2012 to do some work on her Woodstock home. 

George and Jean Sammond of Woodstock hired him last spring to build a sunroom. 

"We'd call and we'd call and we'd call," George Sammond said.

"I think he's really a scam artist at best!" exclaimed Joseph Dunn of Dallas. 

Dunn hired Davis in 2006 to build out his chiropractic office and says he ended up having to hire someone else to finish the job.

"The processing room didn't meet code and then the plumber didn't pull permits," he said. 

When Dunn hired Davis, contractors were not required to be licensed.  However, that changed in July of 2008.  Davis and his company should have been licensed when he took on Sammond and Ivester as customers. 

MORE | How to protect yourself when hiring a contractor

So does Davis have a contractor's license?

"Not that we're aware of or that we've seen," said Secretary of State Brian Kemp. His office is in charge of licensing contractors.

All three customers say Davis demanded 50 percent up front, did some of the work and after he started the job, they say they started having trouble getting him to complete it.  They showed us copies of the checks that they wrote to Davis. 

Ivester paid $2,980, Sammond put up $4,250 for windows and lumber they say they never received, and Dunn paid $36,780 for a job that he says was partially done and poorly constructed. 

"We worked hard to get money together so we could get this room done," Jean Sammond said. 

Dunn, Sammond and Ivester filed police reports but were directed to file their cases in court. 

Dunn spent several years pursuing Davis in court and in 2010 won a judgment against him in the amount of $34,953.17.   However, Dunn has been unable to collect.

Sammond and Invester have also filed civil cases. However, in the Sammond case, a Cherokee County Judge signed off on a criminal warrant for Davis's arrest. The alleged offense - 'conversion of payments for real property improvements.' 

The last known business address for 38 year old Jonathan Davis took us to a UPS mail box in Canton. 

Not even his Dad could tell us where his son is staying. When we got Davis on the phone, he agreed to meet us at an address in Canton, where he no longer lives.  

Stacy Dardy now lives there with her husband.

"You're probably about 100th person that's been here for him," Dardy said.

"We have an investigation looking into it," Kemp told 11Alive. 

Meantime, the Cherokee County Sheriff's office still has an active warrant for Davis's arrest.