Debra Jane Butler Jones
**** Update 12/09/2016 ***
Debra Jones and Jeff Jones who reside at 7314 Westfield Crossing in Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368, were repeat customers. Two other projects were completed satisfactorily and without incident in 2014. Debra Jones had approached the owner of Prodigy Restoration Group for a third project in June 2015 to install two windows and two doors. Upon 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 they were repeat customers.
Debra Jones had 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. Both parties agreed. However, Jones was still responsible for all materials costs, sanitation, and the labor of the owner’s assistant. A comprehensive written quote was provided to Debra. Jones provide funds to Prodigy for the windows and doors and Prodigy ordered the windows and doors as agreed. These funds Jones provided was for the windows and doors only and did not include the materials necessary to complete the installation. During this time period, Debra continually offered more of her services to Prodigy because she “just wants to help”. Remember this because at the end of this message I will shed light on the entire picture.
I will also note 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, and Debra never successfully completed anything else she performed for Prodigy Restoration Group. She even screwed up the setting 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. He initially denied the storm damages to the roof but had approved some guttering and fascia to be replaced. A few weeks later Debra contacted Prodigy and forwarded a ACV settlement from their insurance company that showed they approved the back of the roof to be replaced. The front part of the roof was actually what had most of the storm damage. Prodigy recommended to Jones to have their residence inspected by a structural engineer, and Debra 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 day sto return a copy of the signed contract to Prodigy. In fact it was just a photo of the signed contract that was emailed to Prodigy. It was later learned from an employee of Jones insurance company that they had submitted multiple damage estimates from other contractor’s, which was a breach of 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 for copies of all email communications 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 copy 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. 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. About a week passed and Jeff Jones sent an email to Prodigy stating that two checks were being mailed from their insurance company. Several days 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 for the windows, the structural engineer 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 the second check Prodigy received from Jones had to come from another source since they spent nearly $5,000 of that 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. When Prodigy made a request for those additional funds per the terms of the written contract, Jones refused to pay. Prodigy issued a notice of right to cure default for 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 wagon and began to posting on the internet as well. Debra then 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 also filed a police report claiming the owner of Prodigy had money stolen from them. Jones also filed two complaints with the Attorney General’s Office of Missouri with untrue accusations against Prodigy. And Debra even contacted the church the owner attends, and the pastor via email and text messages also making false statements.
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. During the litigation process the judge recommended that Prodigy return Jones money in return for their removal of all of the internet postings because it would be very costly to see this case to trial. 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 the options to close down the company knowing the expense for a trial would be in excess of $50,000 for just a $10,000 claim. 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 on why certain terms were wanted in the settlement agreement. After hearing the judge’s recommendations on this matter, Jones 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.
After lengthy discussions with Prodigy’s attorney’s, the attorney’s recommended permanently closing Prodigy down since it was not economically to pursue this matter any further. Especially since 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 this matter.
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 her advances because she is a married woman. Debra began attending services at the same church, 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 a later service. That was when Debra had approached him 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 didn’t get to see him.
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 happily pointed out that there was a carpenter’s loop for holding a hammer. The following Sunday 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 needed to take a cold shower. This was quite entertaining to hear 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, etc.
Here are some comments Debra has made to the owner of Prodigy, “Mr. Wonderful”
“Thank you Brian! 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 Brian – appreciate your time. Thanks for everything.”
“Thank you so much for taking on the window and doors job here. How can I help you Brian? 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 L “
“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”
“My ex-husband left me for another man.”
“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 J”
”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.”