DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Ryan Kriser, owner of Kriser Home South, now known as Smart Homes of the Wiregrass, and his office manager Shelley Brown has built a massive amount of residential fraud after a year-long fraud investigation, according to the Houston County Sheriffs Office.
“29 counts of residential fraud,” Sheriff Donald Valenza said. “Also Shelley Brown 29 counts of fraud along with 33 counts of a forged instrument second degree.”
Kriser and Brown are accused of cutting corners in the home-building process. The Sheriff’s office found fraudulent certificates of occupancy documents.
Those documents are required when a home is built within the city limits of a municipality.
“This investigation came to light when a homeowner went to Dothan Utilities to get her lights turned on and she presented a certificate of occupancy to Dothan Utilities and it appeared to be from Houston County,” Cpl. Brandon Barnes said. “Houston County does not issue certificates of occupancy.”
Corporal Barnes said this was not a one-time mistake — other documents like building permits, sewage inspections, and termite bonds were also fraudulent.
“This is a pattern of deception as this has spanned over a minimum of five years,” He added.
So far, three mortgage companies and a pest control company were cheated by the alleged crimes.
He says there could be more victims.
“I looked over 6,000 documents and I’m sure there are more victims outside of the area,” He said.
Corporal Barnes said Kriser Homes South went away during the beginning of the investigation and became Smart Homes — they are currently building tiny homes on Trawick Road.
He said they can continue doing business despite the charges.
“As long as they do it the right way and if not we are going to make sure they do it the right way,” He added.
Both Kriser and Brown are out on bond awaiting their first appearance in court on April 7th.