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A number of metro households say pool builder didn’t end work, costing them hundreds – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATLANTA – Pools in the backyard are a big dream for many families as the weather gets hot. Since the pandemic, there is even greater demand for them.

But many families in Cobb and Cherokee counties have big, costly problems with the same pool builder.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray spoke to people who said pool builder Richard Anthony Tracey took tens of thousands of dollars from them and then abandoned the projects.

“Wasn’t that what it looked like when he left?” Gray asked Laura Briley as they walked along their new garden pool.

“No. It was a hole. A concrete hole,” Briley said.

While it looks perfect now, Laura Briley Gray showed a picture of what her garden looked like when she said her pool builder abandoned the project. The picture shows a concrete hole surrounded by dirt.

“You don’t want to believe it. You do not do that. You think he’ll be back, but he won’t, ”Briley said.

Ron Shepherd’s pool disaster looked almost identical to Briley’s when the same pool builder left.

“He told a very good story and I believed it,” said Shepherd.

“But it wasn’t it?” Asked Gray.

“No, not at all,” said Shepherd.

It’s not just Shepherd and Briley. We spoke to over half a dozen people with almost identical stories.

A homeowner, whose pool construction began back in July, allowed Channel 2 to record a video of her abandoned pool because she still hopes the builder will return. She declined to speak to Gray on camera.

Homeowner after homeowner sent Gray pictures telling similar stories of their pool nightmares, all tied to the same man, who had multiple names and multiple company names: Richard Anthony Tracey.

“We’d call him and it was sorry for sorry,” said Briley.

Briley and her husband saved up for years to build a backyard oasis for the grandchildren.

“You plan it. You put money aside. We saved up for a while to have a pool, ”said Briley.

Briley says she already paid Tracey $ 35,000 when the work just stopped and the excuses began.

Eventually she had to pay another pool builder to finish the job.

“He just stopped coming?” Asked Gray Briley.

“I stopped coming back,” Briley said.

“Did you leave a hole in the ground?” Asked Gray. Briley nodded.

“With water, a little rainwater,” said Briley.

“He said you should swim within 30 to 40 days and it wasn’t at all,” Shepherd said.

Instead, Shepherd says the excuses and confusion are building up.

“The depressing part, the reason I didn’t look at it, was that you didn’t know what it was going to cost to finish it,” Shepherd said.

Gray thought he might find Tracey at one of the several pools he has active building permits for.

In one house, someone was delivering building materials for the pool. but not Tracey.

The address registered with the Secretary of State for Tracey’s company led Gray to a UPS store in Woodstock.

Tracey’s company has changed its name many times.

Currently known as Mountain Springs Designs, it also includes Southern Pool Crafters, Southern Pools and Spas, Better Pools and Spas, and Original Pool Designs.

Customers tell Gray that Tracey has switched from Richard Tracey to his middle name, “Anthony”.

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“I hope I can honestly save a person. I hope I can, ”said Shepherd.

Tracey initially agreed to interview Gray on camera and emailed: “I would like to speak to you. You see, you are being lied to. I am always ready to complete the pools as contracted. “

Minutes later, his lawyer canceled the interview.

That lawyer, Jordan Aldridge, wrote back to us about a week later. He claims it is the customers, not Tracey, who are to blame for the incomplete pools.

“Unfortunately, many of these customers chose to either cancel the contract or put the project on hold rather than making the agreed advance payments, thereby partially completing the construction project,” said Aldridge.

This was expensive for the homeowners involved. Shepherd paid Tracey $ 45,000 before calling for help to complete the pool.

“It took me another $ 60,000 to get it ready,” Shepherd said

Briley also essentially paid for two pools after paying a new contractor $ 40,000 to finish where Tracey left off. The total cost was $ 75,000.

“I just want him to stop. Stop doing this to families, ”Briley said.

Gray wasn’t the only one having trouble tracking Tracey.

Another family that Gray spoke to tried to plead Tracey with a lawsuit, but the lawsuit servers couldn’t find him.