FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ga. - Homeowners across north Georgia said a cabinet-maker was promising low prices for high-quality work, but his advertisement online was a scheme that wiped them out of thousands of dollars.
Authorities said Joe Alan Graham was arrested on a theft by deception charge.
But Graham was confident he'd beat the charges as Franklin County deputies took him off to jail, Channel 2's Tony Thomas said.
An investigation found that Graham bills himself across the Internet as a semi-retired cabinet-maker with prices 40 to 50 percent cheaper than the big retailers.
Channel 2 Action News crews went undercover visiting his small workshop behind his Franklin County home.
Graham promised one couple, who was actually Channel 2 employees, custom cabinets by Christmas.
Another customer, however, warned not to believe a word of Graham's promise.
Even as he battles leukemia, Tim Flinn is working on remodeling his kitchen. Flinn said he paid Graham $8,000 last year, but only received bad workmanship and excuses.
"He fell down, he got hurt, he has pneumonia, he had to go to Florida and postponements. Eventually there were as many as 17 postponements," Flinn said.
Flinn and his wife went to the authorities and just days ago, a grand jury indicted Graham on a theft by deception charge.
The Flinn's meanwhile are not alone.
Snellville resident, Aissatou Bah went to Graham after a fire damaged her kitchen. She said she spent $5,800 and a year later, she and Graham are still fighting it out in civil court and mediation.
"Guess my faith in people has suffered somewhat," Bah said.
Thomas found several other civil judgments against Graham, who customers blamed for taking their money without doing the job.
"I don't know how they can even do this. They still owe me money. Can I have her put in jail because I didn't get my money?" Graham asked Channel 2 cameras while deputies took him to jail.
Graham has since bonded out of jail and denies any wrongdoing. Prosecutors said they will use testimonies, including Bah's to show a pattern of deception.
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