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Pennsylvania plumber faces charges after victims find each other on Facebook | FOX43 Finds Out

FOX43 Finds Out how a group of people said the same thing happened to them after hiring Jacoby Plumbing.

NEW FREEDOM, Pa. — A York County woman says a local plumber left her without a working furnace for months. That plumber now faces charges for taking the money without finishing the work.

FOX43 Finds Out how a group of people say the same thing happened to them.

Founding a Facebook Group

"The human waste was pouring down on top of cabinets and starting to come down the whole row," Shannan Donivan explained what her kitchen looked like after she said Adam Jacoby did some plumbing work at her home.

"Online, all of these southern York County community pages just bragged about him, so I figured why not? He has really good references on Facebook, they must know what they're talking about," Donivan said.

She claims Jacoby Plumbing left a mess at her house and never came back to clean it up or finish the job.

Donivan said, "It began a trend of me calling and saying 'We agreed you would be here at 10 o'clock. What's going on?' I would be ignored, maybe get a call in the afternoon saying 'Oh an emergency came up, someone needed me more."

Donivan says that went on for 5 months and eventually she filed a civil lawsuit. According to court documents, he has since counter-sued. Donivan was convinced she wasn't the only one dealing with this, so she started a Facebook page: Jacoby Plumbing Victims.

Donivan said, "If he can use Facebook to contact his next victims, why can't I use Facebook to find them?"

A friend told Carol Gembe about that group because Carol says she had a similar experience with Jacoby.

Left without a furnace in the winter

"I'm hurt. I can't believe people do this stuff," said Gembe.

She said she paid Jacoby $4,000 for Jacoby to replace her furnace. He cashed that check before finishing the job.

"He never came back, never came back. Texted him, texted him, email, called him," said Gembe.

Gembe said this was happening in the middle of winter. She said, "We went without heat for a while, but we used little heaters." She had been in contact with a Jacoby Plumbing employee for months. Eventually her case against Jacoby turned into a criminal investigation and charges.

FOX43 Finds Out sat down with Jacoby to talk about these allegations

"I feel like I'm one of the best around. We did win Best of York County. If there is issues I try to correct them fairly quickly," said Adam Jacoby.

He's currently facing charges like home improvement fraud and theft by deception in three different cases, including Carol's.

He says her story is missing information. He claims he fixed the furnace with a butter knife and said, "We were at their house probably 9-10 times and only charged them once." He also claims he told Gembe that he wouldn't be able to install the new furnace for a while. 

FOX43 Finds Out asked Jacoby if he could see how customers like Gembe were frustrated, because there was a pattern of him or someone who worked for him saying they would there one day and then never showing up. To that, Jacoby said, "I can see that being frustrating for the customers. Like I said, I try to put everybody first. All of our customers, everyone of them is very important to me. For her it was not so much as us trying to put her off as long as we could, I knew that she had heat. I was trying to move other jobs around."

We asked how he knew she had heat if he wasn't physically there. He said, "Cassandra (Carol's daughter), or her mother (Carol), always let us know when there was no heat and I was always out there that day or that evening. Every single time."

Gembe says that's not what happen.

This was the last text she says she sent to Jacoby's assistant. "I'm highly upset. We have no heat. You promised to come out many many times. I'm giving you one month to do the job or I'm going to see somebody about getting my money back the hard way." 

The person said they were 15 minutes away, but Gembe says no one ever showed up. 

Jacoby said, "These customers were never, how do I want to put it? Unhappy or distraught until they were coached by this other individual who started this."

Jacoby claims the person who he says coached people to file charges is Shannan Donivan, the woman who he is in civil litigation with. She says she didn't coach anyone and didn't come up with criminal charges. She does though calls this justice and empowerment.

"So when you find other people that said 'the same thing happened to me.' You do feel vindicated," said Donivan.

FOX43 Finds Out asked Jacoby if he was guilty in any of these cases. He said, "No. I would say there needs to be a hearing where both sides can talk and that's what's going to happen because I have my proof as well."

We asked him if could send us that proof and he said he would text it all to us. Our conversation with Jacoby was more than two weeks ago and we've yet to get any of that documentation from him. We also including his contractor registration with the state and his insurance information, which he did not yet provide. We've asked for it several times.

FOX43 Finds Out also searched the PA Home Improvement Contractor Search for both "Jacoby Plumbing" and "Adam Jacoby" and as of September 11, 2023, we couldn't find either.

Jacoby and I also had a long conversation about the other charges he is facing and those specific cases, you can check that out here. 

He is expected to be in court on September 27th.

Below you can see the criminal complaints against Jacoby:

The next complaint accuses Jacoby of theft by deception and receiving stolen property:

This final complaint also shows accusations against Jacoby of theft by deception and receiving stolen property:

If you have a story you want Jackie De Tore to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com. 

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