GREENSBORO, NC --- Would you hire someone to do work at your home if you knew they were facing 19 charges? Most of them for obtaining property by false pretenses?

Maybe you'd want to wait to see what happens with those charges.

The Greensboro Better Business Bureau is warning you about James Sexton. Greensboro Police have charged him with 19 counts, most of them for obtaining property by false pretenses. The BBB says it's because customers paid him money to trim their trees and he either didn't do any of the work or just didn't complete the job.

According to Lechelle Yates, a BBB investigator, since 1/16/17, the BBB has received three complaints and one scammer tracker report about Arbor Tech Custom Tree Care (business name also spelled ArborTech). Consumers say they paid money to the business but it either didn’t do any work or did not complete the job.

Consumers say they paid Jim or James Shrewsbury upfront for trimming trees, grinding stumps and removing limbs. But they say he either didn’t finish the work or never even started the jobs. In total, BBB has six complaints against the business since October 2016. The business did not responded to any of the complaints.

The BBB has reason to believe Arbor Tech may be linked to Curb Appeal Custom Tree Care. BBB has eight unanswered complaints from 2016 alone about Curb Appeal Custom Tree Care. The similarities are:

- Both businesses have the same address: 2904 Lowe Ave, High Point
- Consumers say they’ve written checks to Tara Sexton, a woman associated with both businesses.
- A man named James Sexton ran Curb Appeal Custom Tree Care.
- Consumers say they paid a deposit upfront to Curb Appeal and the business either didn’t finish the job or never did any work at all.
15 total complaints for Curb Appeal Custom Tree Care and other business names including Team Real Tree and Hill’s Custom Tree Care – 8 just from 2016.
Consumers told us the business took money upfront and either just did a little bit of work or none at all.

Both trustworthy and not so trustworthy tree businesses may come to your door because they’re in your neighborhood – so here’s how you can protect yourself:
- While they’re assessing the damage to your home or trees, look them up on our website to see if they’re an accredited business and what they’re rating and reviews are like.
- If they past that test, then get the estimate in writing along with a start date and completion date. If you want them to remove the cut up tree, make sure that is included on the estimate.
- Ask for proof of their liability insurance and workman’s comp.
- Preference is not to put down deposit but if you have to, make it a small one 5 to 10 percent and use your credit card so you can dispute the charge if the job’s not finished. If you pay by check, make check to business not individual. And never pay cash.
- And never given them their last dollar until the work is completely done. And I mean completely. We get a lot of complaints about businesses that will say, “It’s getting dark. I’ll come back tomorrow to finish.” And then you never see them again.