• Better Built Homes owner MIA and facing charges

    By: Lorena Inclán


    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - New allegations against a troubled St. Augustine mobile home dealer have surfaced.

    Better Built Homes is being accused of fraud and deception once again. Action News went by its location on State Road 207 Friday but found crews taking down the sign.

    “I’m looking for William Keith Leary,” said Action News reporter Lorena Inclan.

    “He’s no longer here,” said Jim Johnson with Custom Homes of St. Augustine, whose company took over the lease.

    “We've been open two months. The first couple weeks, people called wanting to know what was going on,” said Johnson.

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    A police report filed on Tuesday with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office lists William Keith Leary, the president of Better Built Homes, as a suspect accused of grand theft.

    A South Carolina man said he put down a $25,000 deposit to purchase a modular home that he never received, nor was site work done.

    Back in November, Action News reported a lawsuit had been filed against Better Built Homes in July. Leary currently has a pending charge for operating without certification.

    Action News called Leary but got his voice mail. We are still waiting for a response.

    The BBB says it has received 10 complaints against Better Built Homes since March 2014.

    Leary’s lawyer, J. Russell Collins, said that he doesn’t believe Leary intentionally kept the money and that he wouldn’t accept deposits once he realized he would not be able to deliver services. Collins acknowledged some people may never get their money back.

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