Crime

Prosecutors: Treasure Valley roofers ripped off by employee

Josh Adams, owner of Paradigm Roofing Group, says he is keeping a positive attitude and moving forward after former sales manager Jared Deveraux left the Boise company and formed a rival business. Deveraux is now accused of dozens of felony grand thefts.
Josh Adams, owner of Paradigm Roofing Group, says he is keeping a positive attitude and moving forward after former sales manager Jared Deveraux left the Boise company and formed a rival business. Deveraux is now accused of dozens of felony grand thefts. doswald@idahostatesman.com

The nightmare began for Josh Adams, owner of Paradigm Roofing Group in Boise, early this year. He received an email from a customer wondering why she was still receiving calls to pay for a roofing job at her home.

The woman told Adams her husband had written a check for $6,190 and handed it to the company’s sales manager, Jared W. Deveraux. Adams became suspicious when the woman said the check had been written out just as Deveraux had instructed — payable to “PRG or Jared Deveraux.”

That check never reached Paradigm’s bank. Deveraux deposited it into his personal bank account, Adams told The Idaho Statesman.

It didn’t end there. Another customer endorsed a $7,200 check over to Deveraux for a warranty repair. A third paid Deveraux $7,500 in cash for a roof repair. All of the money ended up in Deveraux’s bank account, Adams said.

By the time Deveraux, 41, was arrested in August, Adams and a private detective he hired said they had uncovered $168,000 in payments intended for Paradigm but diverted to Deveraux’s account.

“It’s insane,” Adams said. “He gutted my entire company.”

Nearly four dozen criminal charges filed

Paradigm was not the only Treasure Valley roofing company victimized by Deveraux, authorities say.

The Boise man is accused of stealing even more — $333,568 — from ARI Roofing in Caldwell, where Deveraux worked before he went to work for Paradigm; and $13,519 from Rooftops Energy Solutions, a company Deveraux started with several Paradigm employees.

In total, he is charged in Ada County with 45 counts of felony grand theft, one for each alleged incident. If convicted, he could face from one to 14 years in prison for each count.

On Tuesday, Deveraux was arraigned in Ada County Magistrate Court on 14 counts. At that same hearing, he waived his right to preliminary hearings in all three cases.

Deveraux did not immediately respond to a letter sent to him last week at the Ada County Jail seeking comment. His lawyer, Jon Cox, of Boise, declined comment, saying he doesn’t know all the details yet.

In a separate lawsuit filed by Paradigm, Deveraux denied allegations that he cashed customer checks. Chip Giles, the lawyer who represents Deveraux in that case, also declined to comment.

Computer records revealed theft evidence

After Deveraux left Paradigm in mid-February, and after he formed the Rooftops company, Adams checked the computer Deveraux had used and found a receipt and a copy of a check written by a customer and made out to “PRG or Jared Deveraux.” Adams said he knew something wasn’t right, because legitimate Paradigm invoices directed customers to “make all checks payable to Paradigm Roofing Group.”

Adams hired Boise private detective Neal Custer, president of the Custer Agency. Custer spent about a month on the case, viewing some of the cashed checks and other documents. He also interviewed Deveraux and other current and former Paradigm employees before turning the case over to the Boise Police Department.

3Companies that claim salesman Jared W. Deveraux stole money collected for roofing jobs

“He told me a story that obviously fell apart when we got the bank records,” said Custer, who writes a column for the Idaho Statesman’s monthly Business Insider magazine. “He had to have known that eventually it was going to crumble. I guess his hope was that no one would ever notice.”

Custer also uncovered evidence that ARI had been victimized. He said Chuck and Charlotte Hall, who own the Caldwell roofing business, were unaware of the thefts until he contacted them. They declined to discuss their losses with the Idaho Statesman.

Thefts hurt Paradigm’s ability to pay bills

The customer payments Ada County prosecutors say Deveraux stole included money that would have gone to Paradigm’s supplier for roof shingles and other materials. Paradigm still had to pay those bills but struggled without the income from the completed jobs.

Adams decided to write off the losses rather than try to collect from customers who had made out checks to Deveraux. He said that would have caused hardships and could have hurt Paradigm’s reputation. The Better Business Bureau gives Paradigm its top rating, an A+.

After the thefts were discovered, Adams said he deferred to prosecutors, who asked him not to speak publicly as they built the criminal case against Deveraux. Now that his former employee is charged in the three cases, Adams said he decided to speak out.

“I’ve literally said nothing for seven months, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s hurting my business because of being silent,” he said.

In its lawsuit filed in Ada County District Court, Paradigm accuses Rooftops, Deveraux and two Rooftops employees — former Paradigm office manager Brandy Morgan and former sales manager Kenneth Crotz — of conspiracy, fraud and theft. Adams also accuses Morgan of taking customer lists with her when she left Paradigm in February and diverting sales calls to the new company.

The defendants have denied any wrongdoing. Morgan and Crotz say Adams got upset after they left Paradigm to start a competing company.

Deveraux filed paperwork with the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office to register Rooftops Energy Solutions on Feb. 2, while he was still working at Paradigm. He and Crotz were listed as company “governors,” and Deveraux was listed as the registered agent, who typically receives any legal notices on behalf of a company. Deveraux was deleted as a “member/manager” a month later.

District Judge Melissa Moody in March ordered Deveraux’s bank accounts frozen until it could be determined whether those accounts included money stolen from Paradigm.

Eric Rossman, an attorney representing Crotz, said Paradigm’s lawyers have agreed to dismiss Crotz from the lawsuit. He said his client did not have any involvement in the alleged actions.

Morgan has filed a countersuit, claiming Adams failed to pay her $1,950 in back wages and for one week of paid time off she had earned.

Investigation leads to criminal charges

Deveraux stole an average of one payment a month from ARI between March 1, 2014, and when he left to go to work for Paradigm in August 2015, according to a criminal complaint filed in Ada County Magistrate Court. The average payment was $23,826.

At Paradigm, he began stealing shortly after he was hired in August 2015, according to the complaint in that case.

The complaint in the Rooftops case says thefts from that business occurred sometime between Feb. 1 through Sept. 28 of this year.

The criminal complaints do not detail how the money was spent. Adams said Deveraux ate out regularly at expensive restaurants and often held catered gatherings at his home.

“He was using the money to fund his lifestyle,” Adams said. “He lived just like he was a Kennedy.”

I hadn’t been below $50,000 in at least 24 months, ever, with operating capital.

Josh Adams, on the struggles his company went through after losing $168,000 to theft

Long history of money problems

Deveraux has been in court with financial problems before.

Between 2006 and 2008, judgments for $9,237 were issued against him in Madison County. Two collection agencies and a dentist sued him, according to online Idaho court records.

Hart Law Offices in Idaho Falls won a default judgment of $4,362 against Deveraux in a 2013 Bonneville County case. Attorney Stephen Hart represented Deveraux the year before in an action to modify the terms of his divorce.

In March 2014, Deveraux filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with his wife, Sara Ragon Deveraux. They listed $40,653 in assets and $273,338 in debts. Deveraux reported that he owed $36,498 in delinquent child support payments to his former wife and $155,525 in college student loans. He listed a monthly income of $5,200 and expenses of $5,145.

Company owner didn’t originally look at roofing

Adams, 29, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Boise State University in 2009, but after working in the medical field for a few years decided he did not enjoy the work. He returned to Boise State to work on a second degree in finance when he founded Adams Window Cleaning in June 2012.

He washed windows at businesses and hung Christmas light displays before becoming a roofing contractor the next year.

Adams learned how to roof from relatives. His father, a retired roofer, called from Florida to tell him Combs Car Corral in Nampa had contacted him in search of someone to replace their roof. Adams took the job and formed Paradigm Roofing Group in February 2013.

“I had no intention of going into roofing at all,” he said.

That summer, the fledgling company landed a $140,000 roofing contract for the Pioneer Inn Condominiums at Bogus Basin. After that, he decided to devote all of his efforts to his business. He left college several credits short of graduation.

Paradigm did $2 million in business last year and expected that to increase this year, Adams said. However, the company suffered after the thefts and after Deveraux left to form Rooftops Energy Solutions and took six of Paradigm’s 20 employees with him.

Deveraux faces a trial in District Court on the criminal charges and is scheduled to return Oct. 28 to hear the charges and enter a plea. Paradigm’s lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial next June.

“For two months, I didn’t know how to cope,” Adams said. “But we’re on our way back and are looking to put this behind us.”

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