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The Villages
Monday, January 30, 2023

Villager apparently turned tables on roofing company that filed lien against his home

Melissa Skates
Melissa Skates

A Villager apparently turned the tables on a roofing company that filed a lien against his home after he tried to back out of a “contract.”

Melissa Skates, 52, pleaded not guilty this week in Sumter County Court to a charge she falsely notarized a document in connection with the replacement of a roof at a home in the Village of Bridgeport at Lake Sumter.

She was was arrested Feb. 3 at Safe & Sound Roofing, located at 4313 E. County Road 466 in Oxford. She remains free on $2,000 bond.

The Villager signed for the roofing job back in November after an unsolicited visit from a salesman. The Villager said he signed on an iPad. However, the Villager had an odd feeling about the promised work and tried to back out of the contract. In retaliation, the roofing company filed a lien against his house, which he purchased in 2017 for $725,000.

One of the documents used to file the lien was a “notice of commencement,” according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

The Villager obtained a copy of the notice of commencement and noticed that it included his signature and a notary seal dated Dec. 3. The Villager had signed the document on Nov. 10 and the notary seal was later affixed to it, the arrest report said. Skates was not present at the time the signature was obtained.

When a detective initially contacted Skates at the roofing company office, she declined to meet with him for an interview. She insisted that what she had done was “legal.”

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