St. Louis, Mo., June 16, 2014 – Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising St. Louis area homeowners to be extremely cautious when dealing with Jeffrey Robert Simbric, an Arizona businessman who recently pleaded guilty to criminal charges involving a roofing business in that state.
An Arizona grand jury indicted Simbric, 37, in May 2013 on multiple charges for work in late 2011 and early 2012. Three weeks ago, Simbric pleaded guilty to four felonies and one misdemeanor and is scheduled to be sentenced today in Yavapai County, Ariz.
In the past 18 months, Simbric and his business, SFG Roofing, have faced BBB complaints from homeowners in St. Louis and in St. Charles and St. Louis counties over unfinished or substandard work. SFG stands for Simbric Financial Group.
Simbric has not responded to the complaints. The business has an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible.
In one case, a retired St. Louis school counselor said she had to pay a contractor $10,000 out of her own pocket to fix a job that was botched by SFG Roofing. She said her insurance company had paid Simbric and SFG $14,000 to replace her roof, but she hired the second contractor when the roof began leaking, and she was unable to get Simbric to respond to phone calls.
On May 20, the same day that Simbric pleaded guilty in the Arizona case, he registered a new company under the name SFG Construction & Roofing with the Missouri secretary of state. That company lists addresses in St. Charles and Maryland Heights.
Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said customer complaints from the St. Louis region indicate that Simbric has continued to victimize consumers after running into problems in Arizona. “It appears that Mr. Simbric simply moved from Arizona to Missouri and resumed business as usual,” she said. “If this man shows up at your house, you might want to shut your door as fast as possible.”
In the Arizona case, Simbric pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft, three counts of felony criminal impersonation and a misdemeanor count of contracting without a license.
Prosecutors alleged that Simbric had taken more than $6,000 from an Arizona consumer for roofing work that was never done. They also alleged that Simbric lied to consumers when he told them that he represented several roofing contractors when he did not.
It appears that Simbric arrived in the St. Louis area sometime in the fall of 2012 and began soliciting roof repair work.
The retired St. Louis school counselor said she contacted Simbric in October or November 2012 after seeing a yard sign for SFG Roofing in her neighborhood. She said her insurance company paid SFG more than $14,000 to replace her hail-damaged roof and the work was completed by the end of the year. But within months, she noticed several leaks in her home and began leaving phone messages at the number she had for Simbric. She said he never responded. She eventually had to hire another contractor for $10,500 to completely redo her roof, taking the money from her retirement savings.
“He got his money, and he was gone,” she said of Simbric.
Another complainant, also from St. Louis, said she hired Simbric and SFG Roofing in November 2012 to replace her roof which had been damaged in a hailstorm earlier that year. She said she paid SFG $4,700 of the total contract price of $5,900, but Simbric never completed the job.
“I called and called and called,” she said of her attempts to contact Simbric. After filing a complaint with BBB, he finally returned to her house in March 2013 and promised to finish the job. She said he told her at that time that he had been ill. She said no additional work was done, and she was forced to hire another contactor when several areas of her ceiling began leaking. That contractor noted in a written report that the SFG was not done correctly.
Because of the delays, she says she will now have to hire a contractor to do repairs on the inside of her house – an expense that she doubts will be covered by her insurance company.
Simbric has not responded to BBB attempts to reach him.
BBB offers the following advice for consumers dealing with roofers or other contractors:
BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses, 11,000 Charity Reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information.