Canterbury Pool Company owner files for bankruptcy, half a million dollar customers – NBC Connecticut
“Very soon after he got the check he said, ‘oh, I don’t think we can do it that soon. How about spring,'” Ed Staples of Pomfret recalled.
Staples said he paid Roy more than $7,000 for an in-ground/above-ground pool in August 2020. Although the project never got started, Staples said. Roy cashed the check and came back asking for more money.
“He was interested in talking to us about additional services, was looking to take a down payment for him to build a deck over the pool,” Staples said.
Staples is one of dozens of clients claiming they have been left dry, giving Roy money for projects that were never completed and, in many cases, never started.
Among the liabilities listed in his bankruptcy filing are a $53,000 Chevy Silverado purchased in 2020 and $21,000 in back taxes.
Court documents also reveal that Roy owes more than $470,000 to non-priority creditors, including 34 customers and four pool supply suppliers.
“Those who have deposited deposits on swimming pools and whose construction has never been completed are unfortunately waiting to see what they will receive in this case, which in all likelihood seems to be very little,” explained attorney Brian Marks, a professor at New York University. Haven who is not associated with the case.
An amended list of creditors includes half a dozen additional clients who are also potentially indebted, including Meghan Millette of Canterbury who told NBC Connecticut in October that she gave Roy a $12,000 down payment for a swimming pool.
“It’s in progress. I mean, it started in October. So October, November, December and now here we are in January and this bankruptcy case is not going to be quick, I’m sure,” Millette said.
Staples said it had been about a year since he had heard from Roy.
NBC Connecticut contacted Roy and his attorney, Gregory Arcaro, several times, but our calls and emails went unanswered.
“The last time I was able to bring someone to their office, the response was that there was no refund coming,” Staples said.
That was three months ago, according to Staples.
“All this makes me a little sad. Just because I’ve never been in a position where I felt like someone stole a lot of money from us, he said. I struggled with the idea, but it’s the only way to really see it.
Connecticut State Police confirmed they are still investigating multiple theft complaints against Brian Roy, although no charges have been filed. The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) said it was also investigating several complaints.
Marks explained that filing for bankruptcy would suspend claims against Roy, but would not protect him from possible criminal charges.
“You hope someone acted in good faith to the extent that they may not have done so, if they have committed fraud or engaged in criminal activity, we move from the arena civil to the criminal arena. Unfortunately, it is the consumer who is in a very difficult situation who will never be able to recover these funds,” he said.
According to the bankruptcy filing, Roy owes $545,000 to more than 40 creditors, mostly customers and pool supply companies, but only has $270,000 in assets to cover his bills.
“It’s a considerable amount of money. So filing for bankruptcy now makes me dread that one day we will see one,” Staples said.
We spoke to Millette on Friday as she was on her way to file paperwork for the money she says she owes him.
“I have some hope that we will see some of it again at some point,” she said.
Although never financially complete, Millette and Staples said they applied to Guarantee fund through the DCP which reimburses consumers who have suffered financial harm as a result of these types of transactions.
Roy’s former business partner, Joe Julian, is named co-debtor in the bankruptcy filing. Julian said he sold his share of the business in 2020.
“I am named as a debtor to a supplier due to an error, and I am working to resolve the issue,” he said in a statement released to NBC Connecticut.
“Hopefully all customers will receive their full refund and hold the responsible party accountable,” he continued.