Unlicensed contractor arrested after FOX 46 investigations

- Unlicensed contractor Terrence "Randy" Briel was arrested Monday after a series of FOX 46 investigations.

"There's a lot of people that say you ow them money. What do you have to say to them?," asked FOX 46 investigative reporter Matt Grant, as Briel was led into a Concord police car in handcuffs. "Why do you keep doing work? Why haven't you finished the jobs that you've been paid for?"

Briel did not respond. 

Kristin Parker tipped off police and FOX 46 that Briel was at her residence. She is disabled and on a fixed-income so losing a $2300 deposit to Briel was a hardship.

RELATED: Investigation: Unlicensed contractor scammed NC, SC residents out of thousands

She had agreed to pay nearly $5000 for the deck. After two weeks of work she says it is dangerous and she worries it could collapse. 

"This whole deck is supported by two legs and a few nails," said Parker. "There's nothing under the middle supporting this whole deck...it's not safe at all."

Briel has been arrested at least a dozen times going back to the 1990s and spent 10 months in prison for ripping off customers. After a series of FOX 46 investigations, he changed the name of business again, which he has done more than two dozen times previously to avoid consumers finding negative reviews, according to the Better Business Bureau. 

After FOX 46 investigations he changed his business name from Mega Decks Unlimited to All Decked Out of Charlotte. 

But his phone number still showed up as Mega Decks. Parker looked the company up online and found FOX 46's investigations.

"What did you think when you saw our stories?," asked Grant.

"Sick to my stomach," said Parker. "$2300 is not pennies in a barrel." 

FOX 46 has been investigating Briel since 2014, when he said in a phone interview that he had "a couple complaints come in that we're working on right now so that's all there is."

But that wasn't all.

RELATED: More complaints against Charlotte patio company under investigation for fraud

FOX 46 found several customers who say Briel took tens of thousands of dollars from them and never did any work. His ex landlord says he too is owed thousands of dollars. 

In March, FOX 46 found Briel was stealing other company's photos and passing off their work as his own on his website. 

A man who dropped off Briel at Parker's house Monday said he had nothing to do with Briel or his business and was unaware of any complaints. 

"Hell no I have nothing to do [with him]," the man said. "Hell no."

Parker doesn't think she'll ever get her money back.

"Lord no," she said. 

But she's hopeful this case will finally be closed.

"How do you feel, because of what you've done, you've helped bring him to justice and get results?," asked Grant.

RELATED: Deck company 'frustrated' after photos were used by criminal contractor

"I'm happy," said Parker. "Other people can get jusice."

Briel is at the Cabarrus County Jail on a $30,000 bond. He is charged with taking money from customers under false pretense. 

He is scheduled to go before a judge Thursday. 

 

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