KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Jackson County men are accused of stealing nearly $35,000 from area churches and a homeowner, taking deposits and payments for solar collection systems, but never completing the work.
Carl E. Long, 66, and Anthony E. Long, 45, each face a felony count of theft greater than $25,000 and seven counts of deceptive business practices. According to a probable cause statement, the suspects were selling solar panels for Eco-Energia, but had customers make payments to a separate company called “Rack ’em Up Solar” for their own benefit.
Furthermore, Carl Long is accused of concealing his full name, presenting himself as Carl Edward or Carl Edwards, to disguise the fact that he was convicted felon for fraud.
The thefts allegedly began in December of 2012 and spanned to November of 2013. In all, five churches, a Christian school and a homeowner made thousands of dollars worth of payments for solar panel systems that were never installed.
The churches defrauded were: Koinonia Bible Church in Kansas City, Mo., New Beginning Apostolic Church in Kansas City, Mo., Faith in Christ Fellowship in Oak Grove, Mo., First Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Kan., New Summit Presbyterian Church in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Summit Christian Academy in Lee’s Summit and a homeowner in the same city rounded out the list of victims. The most work that was ever done according to court documents was survey work and measuring, but no panels were ever delivered or installed.
A salesman working for Eco-Energia was a contact person for the churches and said Carl Long told him not to use his last name when talking to potential customers. Long said he was concerned if customers learned he was a felon, they wouldn’t want to do business with him.
Prosecutors have requested $50,000 bonds for the suspects.