Debra Jane Butler Amarescu Jones
**** Update 12/09/2016 ***
Prodigy Restoration Group, LLC vs. Debra Jane Jones and Jeffery Allen Jones, her Husband
Debra Jones and Jeff Jones who reside at 7314 Westfield Crossing in Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368, were repeat customers. Debra Jones had contacted the owner of Prodigy Restoration Group for a third project in June 2015 to install two windows and two doors. After measuring for the windows and doors, Jones residence was inspected for storm damages with permission from Debra Jones. It was agreed that if repairs from storm damages were necessary, Prodigy would be exclusive to performing the work. The insurance related work and the window and door projects both began as verbal agreements since Jones were repeat customers.
Debra Jones had also approached the owner of Prodigy Restoration Group and offered her services to finish a website that was started and nearly completed by someone else. Debra offered her services for free because she “just wants to help” as she put it. The owner of Prodigy did not feel it was appropriate for her to provide any services for free and offered to barter his labor for the window and door installation. However, Jones was still responsible for all materials costs, sanitation, and the labor of the owner’s assistant. Both parties agreed. A comprehensive written quote was provided to Debra. Jones provided funds to Prodigy to purchase the windows and doors and Prodigy ordered the windows and doors as agreed, and became available for delivery in October 2015. These funds Jones provided were to only purchase the windows and doors, and did not include the materials necessary to complete the installation or anything else. During this period time, Debra continually offered more of her services to Prodigy because she “just wants to help” as she put it. Remember this because at the end of this message I will shed a light on the entire picture.
I will also mention that everything Debra touched on the website had to be redone because her grammar was about 5th grade level, as an English major had kindly pointed out. Debra actually never successfully completed anything else she performed for Prodigy Restoration Group. She even screwed up the settings for Prodigy’s email account and was unable to fix her own mistake. Check out the review that was left on AngiesList for her company Cobia Media.
The insurance related work had a slow start. Meeting with the insurance adjuster was delayed several times because of inclement weather, but eventually Jones residence was inspected by the adjuster. The adjuster initially denied the storm damages to the roof but had approved some guttering and fascia wraps to be replaced. A few weeks later Debra contacted Prodigy and forwarded a damage estimate from their insurance company showing replacement of the roof on the rear elevation of the house was approved. The front part of the roof was what actually had most of the storm damage. At that time, Prodigy recommended to Jones that they have their residence inspected by a structural engineer, and they agreed. Jones provide the funds to Prodigy for the engineer and the engineer inspected Jones residence. The engineer noted storm damages in his report and determined the entire roof needed to be replaced, including guttering, fascia and some siding repairs.
A second inspection by Jones insurance company was requested and they sent out another adjuster. The second adjuster agreed with the engineer’s findings and approved the entire claim. While the adjuster was finishing up his inspection and visiting with the owner of Prodigy in private, he asked if Prodigy had a contract with Jones to perform the work. After disclosing there was only a verbal agreement in place, the adjuster suggested with urgency that a written agreement be executed. Upon his advice a written agreement was presented to Jones for them to review and sign. Jones took several days to return a copy of the signed contract to Prodigy, so they had ample time to read the terms of the written agreement before they had emailed Prodigy a photo of the signed agreement. It was later learned from an employee of Jones insurance company that Jones had submitted multiple damage estimates from other contractor’s, which was a breach of both the initial verbal agreement and the written agreement because Prodigy was supposed to be exclusive to performing the insurance related work.
Things began to fall apart in early September 2015 shortly after Prodigy made a request to Jones for copies of all email communications they had with their insurance company. Because there was no response from Jones, a couple days later a second request was made for this information. A day or two later an email was received from Debra that had one paragraph that was copied and pasted from a communication they had with their insurance company. Prodigy responded to that email asking where the rest of the emails were, and that coping and pasting just a single paragraph from an email gives the impression that they might be hiding something. It was all downhill after that. By this time Jones had still not forwarded any payments from their insurance company per the terms of the contract, or paid their insurance deductible. Prodigy made a demand for these funds as Jones began to make demands to be released from the written contract. Prodigy declined their demands and notified Jones they were in breach of contract for failure to pay per the terms of the written agreement. Jones could have at this time terminated the contract by default, but chose to continue doing business with Prodigy.
About a week or so had passed then Jeff Jones sent an email to Prodigy stating that two checks were being mailed from their insurance company. About a week later a single check arrived and then two days later a second check arrived. Neither check was from their insurance company, but from Jones personal bank account. Interesting thing was that the checks Jones provided to purchase the windows & doors, the structural engineer fees, and the first check that arrived in the mail from Jones added up to the penny the amount that their insurance company had provided them as their ACV settlement. The only logical answer to this is that Jones had spent the insurance proceeds on other things other than the actual repairs for the storm damage, and that is why the second check Prodigy received from Jones had to come from another source because they spent $4,700 of the ACV settlement on the windows & doors, and the structural engineer.
During this waiting period for payment from Jones, Prodigy had finalized the scope of work with the insurance company and the insurance company processed another ACV settlement check for Jones for about $2,700. When Prodigy made a request for those additional funds per the terms of the written contract, including their insurance deductible of $3000, Jones refused to pay. Prodigy issued a notice of right to cure default because of Jones breach of contract for failure to pay. Instead of Jones curing their default in November of 2015, Debra took to the internet and started posting false and misleading information about Prodigy and the owner. Eventually Jeff jumped on the bandwagon and they both began a blitzkrieg of internet postings on the intent to ruin Prodigy’s and the owner’s reputation. Jones also created alias profiles and left fake negative reviews to even further damage the ratings on the review sites for Prodigy. Debra even created several websites that were exclusive to her posting only, and these websites contained content that was defamatory and misleading about Prodigy and the owner. Jones had also filed a police report claiming the owner of Prodigy stole money from them. The judge even commented during the first hearing that for someone to file a police report over a garden variety breach of contract seemed malicious and wanted to see more evidence. Jones also filed two complaints with the Attorney General’s Office of Missouri with untrue accusations against Prodigy. And Debra even contacted the church that the owner attends, and his pastor via email, phone and text messages also making false statements. By this time one of Prodigy’s attorney’s took the necessary measures and terminated the verbal and written agreements with Jones, and made demand for damages per the terms of the written agreement, and the window and door order was canceled with the vendor.
What you may find interesting is that Jones had also filed multiple complaints with the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List against Prodigy in hopes to gain some sort of resolution in their favor. When Jones didn’t get the results they expected with the BBB or Angies List, they began filing complaints and negative reviews against Prodigy using false identities. Because the BBB and Angies List didn’t rule in Jones favor, Jones turned on them and also left defamatory reviews on Google+ against both organizations. One of the employees at BBB had stated their organization had never seen anything like this before. Jones also posted multiple ads on Craigslist, ads on Garage Sale Finder, Nextdoor forums, Topix forums, numerous Facebook pages and forums, etc. Jones even created a YouTube channel with a defamatory video against Prodigy. When Jones ran out of places to post on the internet, they then created the three websites making false and misleading statements about Prodigy and the owner. Vindictive is probably to soft of a word to describe Jones’ behavior.
After documenting over a 1000 internet postings by Jones, Prodigy filed a lawsuit against both Debra and Jeff Jones for defamation of character, invasion of privacy, tortious interference with a business and two counts of breach of contract. After the second hearing, the judge stated that Jones did not make very creditable witnesses and recommended Jones remove all of the internet postings and in exchange Prodigy should refund Jones their money because litigation would be very costly to see this case to trial over a $10,000 dispute. Prodigy took the judges advice and offered Jones a full refund in exchange for 100% removal of all internet postings. Jones counter offered demanding all their money plus an additional $7,000, and wanted to retain the right to defame Prodigy and the owner, and retain right to sue Prodigy in the future. Prodigy rejected their offer and began exploring options to close down the company knowing the expense for a trial would be in excess of $50,000. A few weeks later Jones came back to the table offering to settle but still would not agree to all the terms. After several months of going back and forth, a settlement conference was scheduled with the judge and he heard both parties concerns about verbiage for the settlement agreement. After hearing the judge’s recommendations on this matter, Jones almost immediately agreed to remove their internet postings in return for a full refund. However, Jones refused to agree to a partial refund if they did not or could not remove all of their internet postings. A settlement could not be reached.
After lengthy discussions with Prodigy’s attorneys, a decision was made to walk away from negotiations with Jones and started the process to permanently close Prodigy down since it was not economical to pursue this matter any further. Especially since it was disclosed that Jones was not having to pay any attorney’s fees up until this point. Because Jones was not having to pay attorney’s fees, they were not feeling the economic impact of the lawsuit Prodigy brought against them. Prodigy requested in writing that their attorneys step down and have the petition dismissed against Jones. The judge granted Prodigy’s attorneys leave from the case, and dismissed Prodigy’s petition against Jones. Jones had filed nine counterclaims against Prodigy and the owner. The owner of Prodigy was dismissed from all of their counterclaims, and six of the nine counterclaims against Prodigy were abandoned. The judge entered an uncontested judgement by default for only three of the counterclaims against Prodigy. Jones was not awarded any attorney’s fees. Jones now has a piece of paper they can have framed and proudly hang on their wall for their concerted efforts to try and ruin the reputation of Prodigy and the owner.
Now for the bigger picture… At some point Debra Jones developed feelings for the owner of Prodigy and she had told him that she fell in love with him, which would have led to her breaking her wedding vows. He rejected Debra’s advances because she is a married woman. Debra began attending services at the same church as the owner of Prodigy, without her husband. When Debra was first noticed at church, she sat towards the back of the sanctuary near the entrance. Debra never let the owner of Prodigy know she was attending until several weeks later. That was when Debra had approached the owner and gave him a big hug while he was visiting with another woman in the narthex of the church. One Sunday he did not attend service because a family member had fallen ill. Debra had contact him after service asking why he wasn’t at church and let him know how “sad” she was because she was looking forward to seeing him, but he wasn’t there.
One time Debra had approached the owner of Prodigy and told him that she wanted to help him on his crew. She showed off her new blue jean skirt and pointed out that there was a carpenter’s loop on the skirt for holding a hammer. At a later date after Sunday service at church, Debra approached the owner and she enthusiastically pointed out that she was wearing the same blue jean skirt and stated she was ready to help on his crew.
Another time Debra had made comments that she was sexually frustrated and need to scrub the floor and also needed to take a cold shower. This was quite entertaining to read these text messages from her because the first extensive remodel project that was completed for Jones, Debra was seen multiple times frantically scrubbing the kitchen floor while jamming to heavy metal music. That was one clean kitchen floor.
Debra also gave the owner gifts: homemade dog toys, fresh fruit salads, homemade trail mixes. She also offered to fix him breakfast and another time to take him out for breakfast. She even invited him to a Cardinals game.
Here are some comments Debra has made to the owner of Prodigy, “Mr. Wonderful”
“Thank you! So blessed to have met you and have you on my side. You are a very smart business owner. Definitely know your stuff – smarty pants!”
“Thank you for working so diligently on this outstanding report. Appreciate your time and painstaking effort to formulate all this information. Very impressive – you wear many admirable hats.”
“Thank you – appreciate your time. Thanks for everything.”
“Thank you so much for taking on the window and doors job here. How can I help you? What is it that you need me to help with? Don’t hesitate just let me know please.”
“Thank you! Prodigy sign proudly placed in my front yard. I am so excited you are so good to me.”
“How did I get so lucky to find you?”
“Thank you so much. Really appreciate your time and expertise. One of a kind and I’m feeling very blessed to have met you.”
“Thank you – Is there anything I can do to show appreciation?”
“Do you have any idea how thrilled this makes me? I am in forever debt to you. Basically your slave.”
“Please let me know if you need anything at all. Okay?”
“I didn’t get my hug yesterday 🙁 “
“Outstanding. Especially coming from you Mr. Perfection”
“You feel like going to a Cardinals game Fri night?”
“Dawned on me I may finally get to ride in the Prodigy truck”
“Okay you need to cheer me up now. I‘m way to depressed – think I need more ice cream”
“I hate the name Grant because that is the name of the man who my ex-husband left me for.”
“Something else bugging you? Besides me! I’m concerned you seem distant imagine that? You are only 1000 miles away”
“You know I will do whatever I can to help you? Haven’t I proven that”
“Happy birthday sweet friend – this year is going to be great. Stay happy and healthy”
“I am headed out to pick up some stuff need anything?”
“Sleeping beauty – now you’ll be up all night but you’re more gorgeous 😉 ”
”Okay way to flustered I’m mopping floors right now. Cold shower is what I need. Chat soon – finishing floors now”
“let me bring you breakfast or take you to breakfast at 9:30 tomorrow? Which is it?”
“Ham, egg, cheese omelet? I can make it real quick like.”
“You are so thoughtful and generous – appreciate everything. Mr. Wonderful!”
“Thank you Mr. Wonderful!”
“This event with the e-mail proved to me that I must dial it back. So in no way take any responsibility for my decision. I still think you’re Mr. Wonderful and very thankful to have met you. You are such a smart, caring, hardworking person.”
“Its much bigger believe me – don’t worry nothing you did. You are an outstanding citizen with a heart of gold.”
“Please don’t say anything and just listen. I have fallen in love with you and want to be with you.”