American Shingle in Macon was closed Aug. 13
AUDIO: Full interview with American Shingle CEO Carlton Dunko
According to American Shingle CEO Carlton Dunko, the company completed over 10,000 roofs for customers since they opened their doors in 2008.
But last week the company shut down, to the shock of about 3,500 customers nationwide still waiting for new roofs.
Dunko says allegations that American Shingle was running a 'scam' arent true.
"We installed 10,200 roofs and the last 50-70 or so checks that we collected we never cashed. Does that sound like a con artist to you?"
Dunko says he stopped cashing checks from customers last Monday, but the company continued to collect checks until the following Wednesday. He estimates he has around $300,000 in checks that he says he plans to return to customers.
He says he doesn't want to diminish the impact of whats happened to customers who signed over their insurance checks but never got their roofs, but "it wasn't the hard earned paycheck that I took, it was the check that their insurance company provided."
He says at the height of the company's productivity, they were averaging 1,900 new accounts a month. But the trouble began when an unexpected slump in sales caused cash flow troubles in May, causing them to fall behind on bills to their credit supplier, Roofing Supply Group.
"The only way to be able to pay the money for [Roofing Supply Group] would be to not do installs the following week and take the money that we collected from new accounts and use that to pay R.S.G. When we have to push that customer we have to give them a new install date, they start to cancel. It's a spiral of death from there," Dunko says.
He says their credit line dried up, and that meant no new construction. According to Dunko, the company currently owes about $1 million in unpaid wages to employees, and another $1 million to vendors.
But he says the company is still owed about $6 million for work they actually completed. He says he hasn't decided if the company will file for bankruptcy yet, but he hopes to avoid it and continue collecting on outstanding accounts. They've collected about $300,000 since they closed Wednesday, and Dunko says they'll use that and all future money to pay back R.S.G, employees, vendors, and lastly, homeowners.
Dunko says since American Shingle closed its doors he's been receiving angry phone calls and violent threats.
But he says he's trying to come up with a plan to help fufill the companies outstanding contracts.
He says insurance companies, vendors, and local roofing companies would need to work together. He says if he can collect on the 6 million dollars in oustanding payments, he can pay off vendors, employees, and still have $4 million left over to pay local roofers to build.
But Dunko says, he fears with the highly publicized failure of the company, customers with payments left over, won't bother to send their checks.