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Carl Aaron: Owner of Southern Roof Systems arrested on charge related to taking money, not finishing jobs

'The mess they created was unbelievable,' woman says
Owner of Southern Roof Systems arrested.PNG
Posted at 11:47 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 09:54:48-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Port St. Lucie police have arrested the owner of a roofing company on a charge related to taking money to do a project but never starting it.

Southern Roof Systems owner Carl Aaron, of Okeechobee, was arrested in May on a felony charge of a contractor failing to perform work.

Now, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it is also investigating Southern Roof Systems, which was based in Port St. Lucie. WPTV has learned at least half a dozen people have filed criminal complaints with local law enforcement agencies against the company.

Port St. Lucie police also have an active warrant to arrest Aaron again on another charge related to larceny.

According to a police report, a woman in Port St. Lucie hired Southern Roof Systems Inc. in August 2021 to replace her old roof with a new one, paying Aaron a $4,200 deposit. According to the report, Aaron said he would obtain a permit to begin work as soon as possible and he deposited the check into a business account.

The report said months went by without anyone showing up to begin working on the roof. After requesting a refund, she learned through the Port St. Lucie Building Department that the company was no longer operating.

Aaron's wife, Nancy Aaron, who helps run the business, according to the police report, determined that a loan would have to be taken to complete their jobs or refund clients due to their finances "not being properly managed."

Police also found that Southern Roof Systems owed subcontractors thousands of dollars.

According to police, the company owed Extreme Metal Fabricators $137,999.18 and $143,794.39 to Beacon Building Products.

Officers arrested Carl Aaron on charges of engaging in a business contract and obtaining payment for contracted work, but not applying for the necessary permits to commence work, then never refunding the customer at their request.

Nancy and Tom Barkheimer, of Hobe Sound, said they had a similar problem with the company and filed a complaint with the Martin County Sheriff's Office. That complaint is also being reviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

"They seemed very reliable," Nancy Barkheimer said.

In August 2021, they were also looking to replace a shingle roof with a metal roof and agreed to an $18,000 project with Southern Roof Systems. They paid about $5,000 as a deposit.

Nancy and Tom Barkheimer duped by Southern Roof Systems
Nancy and Tom Barkheimer, of Hobe Sound, say they were duped out of thousands of dollars by Southern Roof Systems for roofing work that was never completed.

Nancy Barkheimer said she was told work would begin in four to six weeks.

At six weeks, work still had not started.

"I called the company and there was no answer," she said. "When I couldn't reach them, that's my first time when I knew something was wrong."

Months later in November, she said, crews showed up and took off the old roof.

"The mess they created was unbelievable," Nancy Barkheimer said.

Still, she said, they gave Southern Roof Systems another check, totaling about $12,000. She said she was told crews would be back within a few days to finish the work.

"And then I didn't hear anything," Nancy Barkeimer said.

Southern Roof Systems never returned to install the metal roof.

The Berkheimers are still waiting to see if their case will amount to any additional criminal charges. They also said they've had subcontractors show up at their house asking for payment.

Southern Roof Systems construction agreement
The Barkheimers had a construction agreement with Southern Roof Systems, but the job was never completed.

In court last week, Aaron was a no-show for his arraignment on the felony charge.

Treasure Coast building departments said Southern Roof Systems is no longer doing business in the area, and its state license is listed as inactive.

The Barkheimers have since found another company to finish their roof with shingles. It's not the metal roof that they had wanted.

"The biggest thing for us now is that it doesn't happen to other people," Nancy Barkheimer said.

When reached for comment, Carl Aaron referred WPTV to his attorney, Adrian Middleton. For several weeks, Middleton has not returned multiple requests for comment.