TONEY, Ala. (WHNT) - A small business owner in Toney believed he was helping a fellow business owner by hiring him for a small fence construction project.
"I'm supposed to be smarter than that and I wasn't," Uncle Sam's Pawn Shop Owner Axel Hein said.
Hein needed a small construction project finished at his pawn shop.
"I'd hired him to put a fence around a storage area/building where I'm going to have ATVs and dirt bikes," Hein explained.
More than $500 later, Hein said the man he hired, Freddy Teague with Alabama Fence, left him with a bigger problem.
"It was stupidity on my part," Hein said. "I didn't check the phone numbers, check for a business license."
WHNT News 19 took that step today. Teague doesn't have a license on record with the Alabama Secretary of State's Office. We checked with the Madison County License Department. Teague had a business license for Alabama Fence from at least 1997 until October 2015, but nothing since. We checked with the City of Huntsville's License Department. They said Alabama Fence has not had a business license with the city since 2008. Hein said Teague took the money and ran.
"He did me on April the 26th," Hein said. "I'd forgotten to sign the check, he had the gall to come back the next day and asked me to sign the check and cashed it that day."
Hein's made numerous unsuccessful attempts to reach him by phone. Hein filed a complaint with the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
"I was told that it was a civil matter," Hein said.
So, WHNT News 19 called the sheriff's office for clarification.
"Based on the contact from you, the news, and also from the victim, we reassessed what took place actually with regards to the incident," Capt. Michael Salomonsky said.
After the department reopened the investigation this week, Capt. Salomonsky said they issued warrants.
"I have gone through our records with regards to him and I have located that currently that a Mr. Freddy Glenn Teague who was born in 1956 has two active warrants with the Madison County Sheriff's Office for home fraud bond of 300 dollars each," Capt. Salomonsky said.
WHNT News 19 also checked in with our partners at the Better Business Bureau. Teague's Alabama Fence has not been accredited with the BBB since 2008. BBB records show the business owner did not respond to a complaint filed against the fencing company.
Capt. Salomonsky said they will now track Teague down to serve the warrants. He added that there's a problem if he's left the county or the state. That's because misdemeanor charges limit deputies with how far they can search for him.
WHNT News 19 will stay on top of this case. We'll share more information with you as we continue to get results.