July 24, 2024

![Athens man falls victim to construction scam](https://investmentshoax.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/64a8cd08e9674.image.jpg)

Eric Cuffle (right) details his experience with Champion Home Remodeling and Construction, a Madison-based firm that allegedly took around $7000 from him and did no work in return.

Written by Matt Paszkiewicz

An Athens resident is left significantly out of pocket after a construction firm from Madison accepted a contractual agreement and then vanished with the initial payment.

Eric Cuffle was informed by Harold Champion, Champion Home Remodeling and Construction’s owner, that the beginning of work on his sunroom could be delayed.

Cuffle recalls, “He stated a timeline of six to eight weeks. Following an eight-week waiting period, when I attempted to contact him, his number was out of service.”

When WAAY 31 News tried contacting Champion, they were also met with a disconnected notice.

The contract, issued on May 16, specified a payment amount of over $21,000. Cuffle stated, “We finalized a contract with him and provided an advance – $7,000.”

After handing over the advance, Cuffle lost contact with Champion completely.

Failing to reach Champion, Cuffle decided to visit the two mentioned business addresses of Champion’s company. One location was an unoccupied building, and the other, a Publix parking space in Madison.

Investigative journalism by WAAY 31 News revealed Champion’s recent arrest in June for home repair fraud allegations by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and reveal other pending charges.

In addition to Madison, Champion is facing charges in Cullman and Limestone counties for first-degree property theft.

Although Cuffle is aware he might not recover his money, his main aim is to prevent others from falling for the same scam.

Cuffle expresses, “I have some capability to absorb this loss. But what about others who may not?”

Cuffle intends to legally pursue Champion by pressing criminal charges.

Champion is set to appear at the Madison County Courthouse on July 11 to defend against one of his many allegations of home repair fraud.

Frequently Asked Questions

What advice can be given to avoid contractor scams?

To circumvent contractor scams, thorough research should be done. This may involve checking their license, insurance and bonding, asking for references, and getting everything in writing. Moreover, be wary of contractors who ask for full upfront payment or pressure you to make a quick decision.

What are the red flags of contractor scams?

Multiple signs can point towards a potential contractor scam: if they don’t have a physical address or proper contact information, use high-pressure tactics, demand full upfront payment, offer extremely low prices, lack proper licenses, or refuse to provide a written contract.

What can be done if one falls victim to a contractor scam?

If you are a victim of a contractor scam, it’s important to report the scam to local authorities. On top of this, you may also consider contacting a lawyer and your homeowners insurance company. File a complaint with BBB and other local business bureaus.