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Woman arrested for fraud after multiple botched fence jobs

10:12 PM, Jun 20, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Michael Stokes still sees the reminders of his ordeal with a local fence company ten years later.

"It wasn't level it was like a zig-zag up and down," he said.

Stokes says they paid the American Fence Company about $7,000 in 2002.  He says it included a lifetime warranty. They got a fence, but not one he was satisfied with.

"The work was just terrible."

Others weren't so lucky.

According to the State Attorney's Office, Karen McCormack West, owner of American Fence Company, has been arrested on charges of Grand Theft and Schemes to Defraud.

According to the arrest warrant, from October 2010 to September 2011, the 47-year-old West and her company collected thousands of dollars from at least eight different families for fencing, but but the fences were never delivered.

Stokes said they found the company back in 2002 in the Yellow pages.

"From that point on I've never paid up front. I haven't. I refuse to pay up front," he said.

Stokes says several years later, the company finally fixed his fence, but he says the experience changed how he does business forever.

"I would never give my money to a construction companies up front ever again. I have to see the work."

First Coast News

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