Frank Warner bought the home on Carter Avenue in April 2010 in a land contract sale. Fire destroyed it one year later, and insurance paid off the home. "I got a homeowner credit from the federal government on this house. I'm liable for that still. As long as I live out of it, I have to pay that credit back," he says. "Mr. Reed I met 3, 4, 5 weeks after that through a friend who recommended him."
On August 26, Warner paid Reed $1,000 up front to begin $32,000 worth of work on the house; everything from gutting and cleaning, to installing new cabinets and painting.
The cash was paid to a "Kelvin" Reed, as it's spelled on a work order. But the receipt for the $1,000 is signed by a "Kevin" Reed.
Warner says that's only the beginning of the mystery. "He hasn't been back since he got the money," Warner says.
We asked Warner what he would expect to be done for the $1,000 payment. "At least to clean the property up, meet the city code standards. I keep the grass cut myself. Keep the vandals out of course," he says.
Reed's voice mail is not set up to take messages, so we texted him Thursday afternoon, and he called back. He confirmed on the phone that his name is "Kevin" Reed.
Reed says the $1,000 was used to open a lumber account and arrange for a dumpster at the work site, but none of that is at the work site.
Reed tells 3 On Your Side he's been working out of town. He also assured us that he would immediately pull $1,000 out of an account in Anguilla, Mississippi, and wire it to Mr. Warner.
Warner had a hard time believing that, but we followed him to the closest Western Union.
The money was there.
"You're kidding. Did you hear that?" Warner said, upon receiving the check. "I'm dumbfounded. It's good to know 3 On Your Side exists!
Reed told 3 On Your Side he was licensed. But a check of Kevin and Kelvin Reed on the Mississippi Board of Contractors website turns up no results. Reed also said he would text his license number to us, and we have yet to receive that text.
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