Scam: Magnolia pool builder accused of taking $195,000 from six customers without doing work

MAGNOLIA, Texas (KTRK) — Darren Matthew Cook of Magnolia faces larceny charges, according to deputies.

Investigators with the Harris Co. Precinct 4 Police Officer’s Office say he was working as Epic Fiberglass Pools when he stole $195,000 from six customers. They said he started big projects that he never wanted to finish.

“It wasn’t until we started the process that he started not answering our calls,” said Patrick Brice.

Brice and his wife hired Cook in April 2021. They said he promised to have their pool ready by July 4, 2021. But after paying him nearly $23,000 upfront, they said he didn’t start the job until September.

“Lied and dodged our phone calls for months and months,” said Tenille Nosworthy, Brice’s wife.

She says Cook and his crew left their backyard in total chaos.

“They came in with a big excavator and they dug a big hole,” Nosworthy said. “It was so close to the house that the second pool builder said our house could potentially collapse when he walked in.”

Even before the excavation, Nosworthy said Cook’s company never called 811 to mark underground power and gas lines.

“Digging, he hit everything. We were without power,” Noseworthy said.

Shortly after digging the hole, the couple said Cook stopped answering her calls and texts, eventually threatening to sue her for molestation.

At that point, Nosworthy says, they paid Cook $34,000 and had nothing but a hole in their yard.

After reporting Cook and his company to law enforcement, the couple said they found a web of other victims.

“It wasn’t just us,” Brice said. “He does that to a lot of people.”

Investigators say they know of at least six victims, all with similar stories.

“If you’re stalking seniors and single mothers, you’ve really crossed the line now. You are now more than just a scammer, you are a crook,” Brice said.

The family paid twice for the same job and said they had to pay a second company to fix the first hole and finish their pool.

“He definitely devastated us financially,” Nosworthy said. “I don’t want another family to go through what we went through.”

Court records show Cook received $10,000 bail based on personal acknowledgment. That means he didn’t pay anything to get out of jail.

ABC13 reached out to his attorney, who said he was still reviewing the evidence and declined to comment.

If you have been harassed by Cook or his company, you are urged to contact law enforcement at 281-376-3472.

To learn more about this story, follow Shelley Childers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Scam: Magnolia pool builder accused of taking $195,000 from six customers without doing work

Dais Johnston

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