Local businessman charged with theft after failing to complete contracted job

Published 9:20 am Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Guy Sams

A local business owner faces a felony theft charge after police say he took payment for a remodeling job and then failed to complete the work or return the money.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hughy “Guy” Sams, 45, of 134 White Road, Elizabethton, on Saturday on a warrant charging him with theft over $1,000. Sams is the owner of Guy Sams Hardwood Flooring, which is based in Bluff City.
Following his arrest, Sams was booked into the Carter County Detention Center, but was released after posting an $8,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on Sept. 13.
The charge against Sams stems from an investigation by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office after a local resident filed a complaint against Sams. On July 5, David Collins reported to officers he had contracted with Sams through his business on March 22 to perform some remodeling work at his home in Carter County. The total for the contracted work was estimated at $5,406.46. Collins said he also received a quote from Sams on some additional work that was not part of the original contract in the amount of $2,352.15. The additional work was not considered part of the contractual obligation and would not be completed without further authorization from Collins, said CCSO Investigator Harmon Duncan. As part of the agreement, Collins said he gave Sams an advance down payment of $3,000, which Sams had told him was necessary to order the wood for the project.
Collins told Duncan that Sams never started the job despite being asked to begin work numerous times and gave him a variety of excuses for why he had not completed the work. Collins said he asked for a refund of the $3,000 advance payment, which Sams ignored and eventually Sams stopped answering his phone calls.
“On July 7, 2016, I spoke with Guy Sams, who could give no valid explanation of why he had not started the job for which he was paid $3,000 in advance,” Duncan said. “Sams stated he would refund the $3,000 within the week, but as of July 18, 2016, has not done so.”
While speaking with Sams, Duncan said he advised Sams he could be prosecuted under state law which outlines criminal offenses by home improvement service providers who fail to complete work that has been paid for and informed Sams that his failure to complete or even begin the job constituted probable cause to charge him with theft.
“By his lack of response, it is my belief that Guy Sams has no intention of returning the payment of $3,000 and no intention of starting or completing the floor job.”

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