Melisa and Jayson Mathewson were looking to upgrade their backyard with a new patio — a space where they could both entertain and relax.
“So I jumped on Facebook and said ‘hey, if anyone knows of a great patio builder or somebody that does that line of work, have them contact me,’" recalled Melisa. "Will was the first one to chime in. He said, 'Hey, what about me?’”
The man she's referring to is Will Jenkins.
Melisa said she worked with Will Jenkins at another company a few years ago and they became Facebook friends. He eventually started his own business, MGM Contractors.
“Will was a very charming guy. Just very polite,” said Melisa.
“He was a small business and we're into helping small business,” Jayson explained.
They brought him in to see the backyard and discuss their vision.
“He said look, I’ll basically build you a deluxe patio for the cost of a basic. And I was thinking, awesome, okay! You're hired,” Melisa said.
The couple said the total cost of the project would be $5,500, but Jenkins needed money for materials, so the couple paid him $2,750 up front in cash.
Jenkins agreed to start the project on June 18 and said he'd have the job done within a week, just in time for Jayson’s birthday.
But as they got closer to their completion date, they realized nothing was done. They said Jenkins blamed the delay on his concrete guy and would be back soon.
But not long after, they told us his number was disconnected.
“So I called the business number that's listed on the MGM folder. It's disconnected,” Melisa said.
She said they called Will's wife and business partner Emilee to find out what was going on. She informed them that her husband was in a car accident and wasn't able to work, but assured them they'd get their money back.
Days later, they say her number was disconnected, too.
“At this point I’m like, something's going on,” Jayson said.
The couple wanted to know exactly who they were dealing with. They started browsing the internet and discovered NBC 5 Responds investigations with Will Jenkins at the center of those reports.
“I was like, you got to be kidding me,” said Jayson. “How did we not know this guy has this past?”
When we first introduced you to Jenkins he was known as the owner of SOS Roofing and Construction. Consumers across North Texas accused Will and Emilee Jenkins of ripping them off. We've even heard from former employees that claim the Jenkins owe them money, too.
Melisa blasted Will and Emilee on social media, warning the public about their business practices and reputation.
Much to their surprise, they say that post got the attention of someone from the Tarrant County District Attorney's office, who was already looking into Will Jenkins.
“Next thing I know, I’m getting a call from them,” said Melisa.
The DA told NBC 5 Responds their next step will be to present these cases to a grand jury for consideration.
“The public awareness raised by NBC5 5’s coverage has been integral in encouraging more victims to come forward and report their own incidents," said Tarrant County DA Sharen Wilson.
Earlier this year, Will Jenkins told us:
"They have been pretty dead set on ruining my company and reputation for some time now it seems...I do acknowledge and accept responsibility for the amount of time it is taking to do their projects...My company took on a massive workload this past year. We've faced great adversity, and are behind on our schedule. I am sorry to all of my homeowner's that have been bearing with me...But i promise when your home is next on my schedule I will be 100% focused on your project from start to finish."
As for their new business, MGM Contractors, it's registered under Emilee Livingston, Will's wife. Will is now using her last name on his business cards.