A local builder was arrested just hours after talking to ABC 17 News about two Mid-Missouri residents who say they are out thousands of dollars after paying for construction work.
Customers say the man goes by two names: Ken Jinson and Scott Jinson. And ABC 17 News found there are lawsuits against both names. ABC 17 News also confirmed Jinson was taken into custody around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon.
Now two unhappy customers say they just want some answers.
Douglas Bledsoe told ABC 17 News he paid $17,400 up front on a more than $20,000 project. But he said all he got was the frame of a shed and some wooden posts in the ground.
He said it was supposed to be his dream wood working shop, and his basement was to be remodeled to house his daughter and other family members while they help him with his medical problems.
“I live on disability and I had saved that up,” Bledsoe said.
The money he saved up totaled more than $20,000. Bledsoe said he signed a contract with Ken Jinson on March 18. ABC 17 News got a copy of the contract and according to it, Jinson would have his basement remodeled and his workshop finished in two weeks, weather permitting. But Bledsoe said after two visits from workers…
“I haven’t seen him back yet,” he said. “He’s always had an excuse as to ‘it’s raining’ or ‘ this came up’ or ‘that came up,’ so I haven’t seen anything since then.”
And now two months later, Bledsoe said he just wants his money back so he can pay someone who will do the job.
“I just can’t believe he has put me off for weeks,” he said. “And the work he has done is sub-par.”
It’s a similar story for an Ashland woman who had a dream of raising chickens in a custom built chicken coup.
“His profile seemed to be Christian-oriented, and he promised he could get a building out to me within a much shorter time than the other companies,” Sarah Bullard told ABC 17’s Jillian Fertig.
Bullard signed her contract on March 8 and said the building was promised to be delivered 10 days later.
“It was April 30 when they delivered, after many days of them saying they were going to come, and not showing up, and not communicating after I had stayed home from work and had sitters to watch our kids,” she said.
But Bullard said when it finally arrived, the building had some problems.
“The first things that I saw were broken boards that were there the day they delivered it,” she said. “The building is warping. All of the plywood they used is pulling away from the building.”
“The roof leaks here in the middle, so there’s always water here when it’s raining,” Bullard said.
She said Jinson offered to come back and fix it, but no showed on her several times. Determined to get some answers, Fertig called Jinson on Monday. He initially agreed to meet her for an interview the next day.
“Do you want to just say noon?” Jinson asked in a phone call. “Yeah, I’ll meet you at Memorial Park at noon,” Fertig replied. “Okay,” he said.
After canceling Tuesday morning, he agreed once again to do the interview. So Fertig went to the park, but Jinson never showed up, despite calls and text messages sent to Jinson by Fertig.
After waiting a half hour, Fertig headed over to Jinson’s house to try to get some answers. But no one was home. During that time, he sent a text message saying he did not want to talk. So Fertig waited for over an hour until he returned home. When he pulled in the driveway, Fertig talked to him.
“Hi Ken, I’m Jillian Fertig,” she said. “Again, I just have some questions for you and these people need some answers.”
Fertig asked him first about the project at Bledsoe’s house.
“He paid you nearly $20,000 for a job that hasn’t been done yet,” Fertig said. “We are actually, to my knowledge, in progress with that job,” Jinson said. Fertig then asked him about the deal he made with Bledsoe.
“The contract said two weeks when you signed it in March,” Fertig said. “It’s May.” Jinson said there were a number of problems, like getting the materials and the weather.
“They’re talking rain again for Wednesday,” Jinson said. “In construction, you can’t do a lot in the rain.” “But it didn’t rain all of April or all of this month,” Fertig said. Jinson said again he is still working on Bledsoe’s project.
“We built him a big shed, I don’t know if he told you that,” Jinson said.
“It’s the frame of a shed,” Fertig said. “We built him an entire shed,” Jinson said. “That’s still back here [at his house],” Fertig said.
Jinson told Fertig he didn’t have a way to move a shed he said was on his property to Bledsoe’s house.
“The bottom line is, as it stands right now, we’re still working on that job,” Jinson said. “There’s been no scam and there’s not going to be.” Where are you guys today?” Fertig asked. “It’s sunny outside.”
“We’re working,” Jinson said. Today’s an exception to the rule because I don’t know what to do. Am I supposed to go back down there? I need to contact Doug, I haven’t done that yet today.”
And as for Sarah Bullard’s chicken coup…
“It was perfect when we walked away,” Jinson said. “There’s nothing wrong with this building.” Fertig explained to him some of the issues Bullard showed her the day before.
“We’ve got 200 plus pictures of the building,” Jinson said.
“I also have pictures of it from yesterday,” Fertig said. “It’s warped and there’s cracks.” Jinson said he offered Bullard a refund or repairs, but said she declined.
Fertig asked more questions to try to find out more about Jinson’s business…
“It’s not a business, we just do this to stay busy,” he said.
“So you don’t have a business license?” Fertig asked. “No,” Jinson replied.
He said his business doesn’t have a name either. He is not required to have a license to work in Cole County, but many cities, including Jefferson City, require business licenses and/or permits to do work within city limits.
Jinson has multiple lawsuits against him and criminal charges dating back years. Some of those charges include passing a bad check and not paying taxes. Both Bledsoe and Bullard said they filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office.
An ABC 17 News viewer who saw our report created a Go Fund Me account for Bledsoe; you can share or donate to that fund here.