I-TEAM: As fence company owner jailed on fraud charges, customers looking for money

Father and Sons Fence Co. has a history of BBB complaints

The owner of a Jacksonville fence company is behind bars on fraud charges after a News4JAX I-TEAM investigation.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.Editor’s Note: Father & Sons Fence Co. in Jacksonville, owned by Glen Northrup, is not affiliated with any other business — including those with the same or similar names.

The owner of a Jacksonville fence company is behind bars on fraud charges after a News4JAX I-TEAM investigation.

Customers accuse 63-year-old Glen Northrup of collecting deposits for fence projects and never doing the work.

According to the arrest warrant, at least seven victims were identified who had more than $19,000 taken. The warrant also references the I-TEAM investigation and says it appears he stopped after the first story aired.

A dozen viewers tell News4JAX that they are out thousands of dollars after giving a 50% deposit to Father and Sons Fence Co. of Jacksonville.

“I tried to reach out to them, and they just gave us excuse after excuse,” said Robert Baker, a Westside homeowner who hired the company months ago to replace his failing fence. His aunt across the street also lost money when she hired the same company.

Baker said altogether his family paid almost $5,000. He’s one of many customers with complaints about the small business, which Northrup owned.

“We wrote him a check for 50% which was $3,275,” said another customer, Charles Weaver.

The I-TEAM began investigating the claims in June.

On Wednesday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced its economic crimes unit had gotten a warrant for Northrup’s arrest. Detectives asked the public for help finding the wanted man.

Northrup turned himself in hours later.

He was booked into the Duval County jail, where is held on $35,000 bond. Northrup did not say anything at his initial hearing.

A public defender will represent him in future court hearings.

Customers said they were relieved about his arrest, but they want to know how to get their money back.

PREVIOUS I-TEAM REPORTS: Customers out thousands of dollars after paying deposits for fence work that wasn’t done | Owner of fence company at center of I-TEAM investigation turns self in after arrest warrant issued

“There are really only two choices that I’m aware of,” said Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida President Tom Stephens.

He said those who filed reports with police could get restitution once the case is resolved or they can take Northrup to small claims court, suing him civilly.

“You can put a judgment on him but if he has nothing and there’s nothing to put a lien against then you’re out the money again,” Stephens said.

Father and Sons Fence Co. has a history of BBB complaints, and Northrup hasn’t resolved any of the problems.

Florida business records show Father and Sons Fence Co. LLC actually shut down in 2019.

“If you signed a contract and paid him money six months ago, you did not do your homework,” he said. “Because there were reports all over from us over the last year and a half that say he’s taking money and not completing the job.”

The BBB is warning people to never pay for a construction project fully up front, to get references and check their site, and to document everything.

Baker is still hoping to get his money back.

“You do not do customers wrong,” he said. “You need to be held accountable for your actions. And it is not acceptable.”

In June, the I-TEAM went searching for Northrup and started at the business address for Father and Sons Fence Co. on 103rd Street. When we got there, we found the business gone and the lot being completely cleared. Court documents show Northrup had been evicted from the property.

We finally did track Northrup down and he agreed to interview with us on camera. In that June interview, admitted to the I-TEAM he had dozens of customers he had taken money from but had not finished the work.

“We’re working hard to get it done. If they want their money, we’ll get it back to them,” Northrup said. “I’m not running from nobody, it’s just hard times right now.”

“How are you going to get it back to them?” we asked.

“I’m selling stuff, trying to get a job done here and there, and I’m going to get their money back to them,” he answered.

“How many of those customers have you taken deposits from?” we asked.

“Maybe 30,” he answered.

“So how much do you think you’re in the hole?” we asked.

“Probably $25,000, $30,000,” he said.

During that June interview, the 63-year-old told us he hoped to pay back all of his customers by the end of July.

“I apologize, you know. I didn’t know this was going to happen,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to make things right, and I hope they understand.”

If you are a customer who paid Northrup for work that was not completed, email the I-TEAM at iteam@wjxt.com.

About the Authors:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.