GALVESTON, Texas - Additional victims have come forward since FOX 26 first aired the story about a Galveston contractor who duped a 98-year-old World War II veteran out of thousands of dollars.
Ron Johnson and Ralph Frazier say they're just two of more than 30 of John Thomas's former clients who have now banded together to bring a case against the Galveston contractor. They say Thomas stole tens and thousands of dollars from them.
“He knows all the right things to say. Can they do the work? Absolutely not,” Frazier said.
In Frazier’s case, the retired Houston firefighter said he hired "Thomas Custom Homes" to perform work at three separate homes in Dickinson, League City, and Pearland. The business currently has an “F” rating on the Better Business Bureau’s website.
Thomas's first assignment was to fix Frazier's 93-year-old dad's home, after it was flooded with more than 16 inches of water during Hurricane Harvey.
“He's a retired vet. He did not ever see his house completed back to finish because John Thomas took the money and ran,” Frazier said.
Fast forward several weeks and more than $25,000 paid to the business—no work had been done and the excuses were only piling up.
“Every day that he's not in jail, he's scamming somebody else out of money. He doesn't care who it is. He doesn't care how old they are. He doesn't care if it's their last dime or they don't have anything to eat,” Frazier said.
Although a year and a half apart in time, Ron Johnson’s story is almost identical to Frazier’s.
“The District Attorney's office in Galveston told me that my wife and I were victims 20 and 21. It's embarrassing. No one wants to admit that they were duped. Well, we were,” Johnson said.
The former Harris County prosecutor said he too paid Thomas more than $20,000 just for materials. Johnson said Thomas was manipulative with his words and bold with his actions-- actually stepping in and demolishing portions of his home that he never finished.
“He goes in and just demolishes your house. And everything he tears off, he tries to find something else he can point to that's a problem. Suddenly your house is a shell. And you know, he's done no reparative work at all,” Johnson said.
“It's not an impulse, or a lapse in judgement. This is a lifestyle. This is the way he gets his money. And he'll do it to me, and he'll do it to you, and he'll do it anyone he can until he is stopped,” Johnson said.
Thomas was not reachable by phone Thursday for comment.
The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office said they have received multiple complaints and are currently investigating.