After getting ripped off by a handyman Jerry Breedlove, Linda Corti decided to register the domain name jerrybreedlove.com to warn others. WMC-TV Action News 5 reported that Corti essentially turned that website into a wanted poster for the Collierville, Tennessee contractor who bilked her out of $3,054.75.
Breedlove was hired by Corti to install recessed lighting in her home. Having hired him previously with good results, Corti felt comfortable asking him to do the lighting job. When the handyman showed the client invoices for the materials he supposedly purchased from Graham’s Lighting, she paid him over $3000. Corti never received the purchased materials and that was the last she saw of the contractor. He did not return to do the job, nor did he return any of Corti’s calls.
She eventually discovered that the invoices Breedlove presented to her were falsified. Bob Myers, Graham’s Lighting store manager told the station that the handyman never purchased those items. Myers then checked out the invoices and could tell right away that they were faked. The fraudster had taken the store’s letterhead but used the wrong font, and bogus customer order numbers. "To use our letterhead and our tickets to perpetrate fraud on a customer is really infuriating," said Myers
The homeowner was upset and explained, "I thought what can I do myself to really, not just necessarily get back at him, but to let the community know not to hire him." Corti is a graphic artist so she decided to purchase the domain name jerrybreedlove.com for around $28. She built a website outlining Breedlove’s fraud under the heading “DO NOT HIRE JERRY BREEDLOVE AS YOUR CONTRACTOR.”
WMC investigator Andy Wise called Breedlove and the contractor fessed up, “Yes, sir, I admit that I did that." Breedlove continued, "I had a situation that I couldn't control at my house, and I was wrong," he added, "and she'll get payments every week until that there is paid for, sir."
So far, Breedlove has paid Corti a $500 money order. WMC-TV notes that two lawyers they consulted “…said she’s taking a tremendous legal risk with the site, particularly in the use of Breedlove's name, image, address and phone number.”
When this post was published, Corti’s website jerrybreedlove.com was still live.
Video and more info: WMC-TV
- Financial Fraud Prevention