A hot-tub repair business owner has been sentenced to jail time in one North Carolina county for taking payment without completing the work agreed upon. He faces felony charges in two other counties for similar allegations.
Gordon Charles Smith, 46, of Hendersonville, N.C., will serve 14 to 26 months in Chatham County after being convicted of a felony count of obtaining property under false pretenses and a misdemeanor count of failing to complete work after being paid.
The charges stem from a $708 check received from a customer and cashed in December 2013 for a hot tub repair that wasn’t completed. Smith was ordered to pay restitution for the amount.
In neighboring Durham County, Smith faces one felony count of obtaining property under false pretenses and a misdemeanor count of failing to complete work after being paid. The matter still was in District Court at press time. In North Carolina, criminal lawsuits begin in District Court and then felony charges are bound over to Superior Court.
Smith’s attorney in the Durham County case, assistant public defender Clayton J. Jones Jr., said his client has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings. “He’s looking forward to his day in court,” he added.
In Alamance County, Smith is charged with one felony count of obtaining property under false pretenses.
This is not the first time he has been convicted for such activity. Smith also faces charges in Henderson County for allegedly violating his probation from four 2004 cases when he was convicted on felony counts of obtaining property under false pretenses. According to Henderson County Superior Court records, all four convictions involved taking payment without delivering the product — hot tubs in two cases, billiard tables and/or accessories in the others.
Smith’s public defenders in Alamance and Chatham counties did not return phone calls for comment.
Several hot tub repair businesses in North Carolina seem linked to Smith: In some, he is named as the owner; in others the listed owner’s name matches an alias that court documents acknowledge Smith has worked under; still other companies are listed under the same Hendersonville address identified as Smith’s in court documents. These businesses are Above the Rest Hot Tub and Pool Repair Inc. of Hendersonville; Carolina Hot Tub of Raleigh, N.C.; and Carolina Hot Tub Repair in Hendersonville.
A complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau in North Carolina against Above the Rest Hot Tub and Pool Repair Inc. referenced a customer receiving an invoice for the contracted work from Carolina Hot Tub Repair.
A total of eight complaints were filed with the BBB against three of the businesses for work that was paid for, but not completed. One complaint was resolved, according to BBB reports.
Attempts to reach businesses listed under Smith’s name or aliases listed in court documents were unanswered or the numbers were disconnected.