SANTA ROSA, Calif. - When Coffey Park in Santa Rosa lost 1,500 homes to an overnight firestorm, the nation was shocked at the power of Mother Nature. Now, we have the cases of one woman and others who are fighting another kind of firestorm: fraud.
Marybeth Adkins owns this partially-built home in Santa Rosa's Coffey Park; a home she lost almost three years ago to the massive, wind driven Tubbs Fire. Her first contractor's partners, Chiaramonte Construction of Tulare, were jailed on charges of defrauding several homeowners, including Adkins. Her second contractor, Urban Equity Builders, who sought her out, according to city regulations, abandoned her unfinished home in this condition regarding a dispute over billing.
Adkins can't talk about it because when Urban Equity Builders settled with her, she was required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
But on Tuesday, a local hero who was building a home nearby, stepped in after talking to Adkins’ neighbors. "When they told me the story it was heart breaking," said Michael Wolff, a military veteran and founder of Wolff Construction.
Wolff is one of the prime people involved in building Santa Rosa's Veterans Village for homeless veterans.
Wolff will now complete Adkins work with what little money she has left.
"She definitely doesn't have enough money to finish the project. So, we're doing this in phases. The first step is to get it structurally sound and protect it against the weather," said Wolff. Already, paint maker Kelly-Moore has donated all the needed paint. "We're not in it for anything other than trying to help this person out and try to regain their life," said Wolff.
The Contractor's State Licensing Board posted on its web site that it is looking at ten probable violations of the California Business and Professions Code against Urban Equities Builders.
Surprisingly, they are still building in Santa Rosa. "But the number of houses just like this are sitting, no work is being done. Many of them just don't have the money to get the job done," said Wolff.
KTVU reached out to Urban Equity Builders for comment three separate times on Tuesday and did not receive any calls back.
Urban Equity Builders, which abandoned Adkins job and left others, last April, was approved for as much as a million dollars in federal Paycheck Protection Program money.