The N.C. Attorney General's office filed suit Monday to shut down a pair of kitchen remodelers who allegedly took in $400,000 in deposits from 38 homeowners without completing the jobs.
The suit in Wake County Superior Court alleges that Justin Tyler Sheets and Robert Selfords, officers of American Kitchen Corp., paid themselves first and didn't have enough money left over to pay contractors to remodel kitchens.
Selfors is also a minister at The Kirk, a nondenominational church in Brier Creek, according to the church's website, which profiles Pastor Selfors as having a pair of divinity degrees from Liberty University.
According to the AG's suit, the duo's Burlington enterprise was similar to a Ponzi scheme, and relied on advance payments from new customers to pay for remodeling work promised to previous customers, until the money ran dry.
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The unpaid subcontractors and suppliers have threatened to file liens against the homeowners, many of who still have unfinished kitchens.
Attorney General Roy Cooper's suit also alleges that the pair had previously operated a similar scheme, called Kitchen Carolina, which generated 57 complaints to the AG's office before it went out of business in 2010.
The AG has asked the court to permanently bar Sheets and Selfords from offering home improvement services in North Carolina.
The suit also asks that they be ordered to pay restitution to the homeowners and to pay a civil fine to the state.