Polk County couple accused of doing unlicensed home renovations, stealing thousands of dollars
Richard and Adena Lineback are accused of signing on clients with their business, Lineback Home Services, and stealing money from people.
Mackenzie Jones' story
More than $32,000 spent only to come home to an unfinished job.
Ruthie Kimmons' story
Around $20,000 was spent to renovate her master bathroom only for it to be 'done wrong.'
Other victims are out there
The issues branched out to Hillsborough County, as well.
Digging into the couple's info
The license number plastered on their truck doesn't belong to them.
How to verify someone's license
People can also search to find any documented complaints.
As contractor fraud is continuously being reported throughout the state of Florida, signs of the scams are showing up locally with a Polk County couple being arrested back in January.
Richard and Adena Lineback are accused of doing home renovations under their business, Lineback Home Services LLC, but never completing the work. That business is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but is still active, according to online records.
The couple is accused by the Polk County Sheriff's Office of grand theft and contracting without a license.
Three women came forward to 10 Tampa Bay to share their personal stories with Lineback Home Services. The women said the couple took payments and then vanished before the work was finished or done correctly.
One woman says some of the work in her home was never even started.
10 Tampa Bay looked into the couple and their accreditation, and it turns out Richard and Adena Lineback don’t have a contracting license.
A person with the same last name, "Lineback," has a mold remediator license, according to the Department of Business & Professional Regulation. Former clients said they saw that mold remediator license number on the Lineback's truck and company T-shirts.
They assumed the couple had the correct licensing to do the work they were contracted to do.
Mackenzie Jones' story: More than $32,000 spent only to come home to an unfinished job.
Mackenzie Jones lives in Lakeland with her two children in a house that was left to her by her grandmother. The house needed updates so she went on Facebook to ask people for advice on renovating a home.
"I was in an all-women’s group and posted that I needed some tips on how to remodel my house," Jones explained.
She said that's when Adena Lineback reached out to her on Facebook.
The Lakeland woman hired Lineback Home Services to renovate her house.
She signed a contract with the company – agreeing to pay the company $32,350 to remodel her kitchen, living room, laundry room, bathroom and floors.
Jones moved out for weeks and then came home to unfinished work.
"When I was moving there was still paper on the floor," she explained. "There was trash in the yard. It was not completed, but they said it was completed."
Jones said the work in her kitchen was done incorrectly. She said her kitchen has flooded twice because of plumbing issues.
Her laundry room was left unfinished. She discovered the drier vent was improperly installed, which is currently a fire hazard.
When she walks on her floors, they squeak and sound sticky.
She is also dealing with mold in her bathroom from a window that was installed improperly.
Throughout her house, there are other issues that she is now trying to fix herself.
"A lot of shotty things done," Jones said.
The Lakeland woman tried reaching out to the Lineback couple about the issue with the work they told her was "completed." But they only argued with her and made her feel like she was the problem, Jones explained.
"It was stressing me out really bad, and as a single parent, I have enough on my plate so I just gave up," she said.
Jones said she felt defeated and she was left with damage and debt.
"I felt like they preyed on me. [Adena] knew from that group that I was a single mom," she explained.
Jones went back on Facebook and found out she wasn’t alone.
"I saw a post going around Facebook saying, 'Don’t use Lineback Home [Services] renovations,' and I said, 'Hold on, I’m a victim too!'"
Ruthie Kimmons' story: Around $20,000 was spent to renovate her master bathroom only for it to be 'done wrong.'
That post was written by Ruthie Kimmons who also lives in Lakeland. She explained she paid around $20,000 to the Lineback couple to renovate her master bathroom.
According to Kimmons, there were times the couple wouldn't show up. When they did, she said the work was done wrong.
Her shower doesn’t drain correctly. Her tub wasn't installed properly and nearly turns over if they try to use it.
"Now we have a shower that isn’t completed," Kimmons said. "We gave them $20,000, I paid more than that out of pocket."
Altogether, she estimates she has paid around $30,000 so far toward all the work in her master bathroom.
Ruthie Kimmons' house during and after work
"We actually ended up having to pull a loan because of what they did," Kimmons stated.
When she called the Lineback couple to have them fix the work they did incorrectly, they reportedly refused.
"What ended up happening was they quit," Kimmons explained. "She called my husband and said they had too much work and wouldn’t be coming back."
That’s when Kimmons went to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Richard and Adena Lineback were arrested for contracting without a license and grand theft.
Other victims are out there: The issues branched out to Hillsborough County, as well.
Some believe more charges should be added in surrounding counties.
"My house is still only half done. They took us for $45,700," said Jessica Andrews, a Plant City resident.
Andrews said she hired Lineback Home Services to renovate most of her house.
"Our house was ripped down ... flooring ripped up, walling taken down, electrical work, complete full bathroom demolition, shower install," she explained.
According to Andrews, it’s all sloppy work and some installations were done wrong. The work on her bathroom hasn't even started.
"It’s been so tragic, so tragic. I’ve had to take out credit card debt, personal loans and hire outside people to try and get our house back to the living condition," she said.
Jessica Andrews' house during and after work
Living in Hillsborough County, Andrews said the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office told her they couldn’t press criminal charges.
"It was devastating because I didn’t know what to do," she stated.
The Plant City woman went to the Better Business Bureau – where Lineback Home Services LLC now has an F rating, plus two documented complaints.
"I just want them to be out of business and to get what they deserve," Andrews said.
Digging into the couple's info: The license number plastered on their truck doesn't belong to them.
10 Tampa Bay tried to get the Lineback's side of the story. After messaging the couple on Facebook, we received no answer. We called their phone number and left a message. We never got a phone call back.
But we did some digging. When we searched the license number that their former clients saw on their truck – it came up as a mold remediator license.
It belongs to a member of the family. That name is not familiar to the women we interviewed who are former clients of Lineback Home Services LLC.
Regardless of that license number, Richard and Adena Lineback are charged with contracting without a license.
This is the kind of research former clients said everyone should do before hiring and signing a contract. "Moving forward if I ever hire someone again, they will be licensed," Mackenzie stated.
How to verify someone's license: People can also search to find any documented complaints.
You can search for someone's license number and make sure they are licensed online. If they aren't, you can report that online as well through the Better Business Bureau's website.
You can also go onto the Better Business Bureau's website to see what rating they have and if there are any reported complaints. Also on that website, you can report and file a complaint.
These women shared their nightmares with Lineback Home Services LLC so you don’t experience the same home makeover horror.
"I’m now going through thousands of dollars of more debt on top of the $45,000 that I’ve already paid them," Andrews said.
These women are convinced they’re not the only ones swindled.
"There’s got to be more people. It’s just reaching those people and finding those people," Kimmons stated.
As for Richard and Adena Lineback, they will be in Polk County court for a pretrial conference on May 23.
If you have similar stories after hiring Lineback Home Services LLC, contract 10 Tampa Bay Reporter Shannon Clowe on social media or email her at email@example.com.