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On Your Side Investigation: Ozarks roofer charged with stealing from customer

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 10:24 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2021 at 10:34 PM CST
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BUFFALO, Mo. (KY3) - An Ozarks roofer is charged with stealing from a customer.

A woman in Dallas County says she paid thousands and no one can live in the home. It’s the old house with black trim near the Buffalo square. Maeghan Kidd planted roots here.

“I have flowers that pop up in the spring. This was our first home that we bought together,” she said.

When her family outgrew this home across from the schools, she wasn’t ready to part ways. It’s the perfect rental she thought. It was due for a new roof when mother nature gave it a big punch last spring.

“This is where the roof leaked through, here in the master bedroom,” said Kidd.

She needed this fixed stat. She hired Eric Haueter with 1-Call Construction last June.

“He could get us in the fastest,” she said.

He promised he’d start in two weeks. She paid him $12,000.

“For our project it was about 70 percent of the total cost,” said Kidd.

Kidd says Haueter pushed back the project. Then would not respond to calls, texts or Facebook messages.

“I asked if he could give me a date of when the project would be completed in full. He never responded,” she said.

That was in October.

On November 6, Haueter sent a text and said: Weather has been good to us. It’s looking like we will be starting soon.

On November 18, Kidd responded: We stopped by the house and still no signs of work.

That’s when she contacted law enforcement. All while the water damage imprints a heavy scar on her home.

“It’s probably going to cost us double what it would have been had the project been done in a timely manner,” she said.

The Dallas County Prosecutor charged Haueter with stealing by deceit. Court documents read Haueter told a detective Kidd ‘pissed him off’. He stated ‘his contract allows him 365 days to complete and planned on waiting until June 2021 to start’.

By the way, there’s no completion date on the one-page contract. The detective made note of that too.

The detective went on to write in the report -- ‘When I asked why he doesn’t just refund the money, Eric claimed he has $5,000-$6,000 in ordered materials. The detective asked for a invoice. Haueter was ‘unable to provide’ it. The detective called the supply company and was told they ‘don’t have an account under Eric’s name, business name or phone number’.

On Your Side did some digging. Buffalo city workers tell us they do not have the required roof replacement permit for this address. Meaning Haueter did not apply or start the process.

A few years ago in Camden County, Haueter was charged with passing a bad check, forgery and lien fraud. Court documents show he was hired to build a house and garage. Homeowners paid Haueter. Haueter did not pay suppliers. He pleaded guilty and is paying more than $12,000 in restitution.

Nearly twenty years ago, Haueter was charged with three counts of forgery. According to the Lebanon police report, he admitted it.

The report reads one of the checks was ‘filled out to E&T Construction, which is (at the time) Eric Haueter Construction Company.

“I want to be his last victim,” said Kidd.

Kidd wants her money back and then some.

“Plus interest. If this was a loan at a bank, you’d end up paying a whole lot more for the time you had the money,” she said.

On Your Side reached out to Haueter’s attorney, Christine Hutson, asking for an on-camera interview.

She sent a statement, it says in part:

Because of the pending criminal charges, I have advised Mr. Haueter to not make any statements about the case.

Our U.S. Constitution affords all of us the right to remain silent and it is important to allow the justice system to work before conclusions are drawn.

Mr. Haueter has entered a plea of not guilty and we look forward to him having his day in court.

Before you sign a contract, make sure there’s a timeline with an estimated completion date. If plans change, amend the contract.

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