• Report: #1166550

Complaint Review: Prism Construction

  • Submitted: Thu, July 31, 2014
  • Updated: Sun, May 24, 2015

  • Reported By: ScammedinOhio — centerburg Oklahoma
Prism Construction
9850 Jerome Rd Dublin, Ohio USA

Prism Construction Lakewood Construction Associates, Lakewood Builders, J Mike Hammel, Jim Deering, James E. Deering, Aaron Swihart con men, crooks, thieves, unethical scumbags, incompetent builders, Dublin Ohio


*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Prism Construction has NEVER contracted with Mr. or Mrs. Hulick. For an ACCURATE MEASURE of our Reputation please visit http://www.bbb.org/centralohio where we enjoy an ( A+ RATING )

*Author of original report: More information about Jim Deering and Mike Hammel

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Anyone even thinking of doing business with John Michael Hammel (aka Mike Hammel) or James E. Deering (Jim Deering) should save themselves a lot of hassle and just give whatever money they were going to spend to a homeless bum instead.  At least that way, years later you will know what happened to your money.

These guys scam their customers out of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars!  They do not, repeat DO NOT know how to build a house.  They have the ethics of a New York City wharf rat.


I would not recommend anyone hire these con men.  I have not found a single customer who was  not cheated by these guys.

These guys rip off their customers, and they also rip off the subcontractors who are unfortunate enough to end up working with them.  Anyone sub who got hired to do a job for them would have a much happier life if they would only ask around and see how other subcontractors were treated by them.

They use multiple names for their companies, "Lakewood Builders", "Lakewood Construction Associates" and "Prism Construction Company".


 They run their office out of Mike Hammel's garage at 9850 Jerome Rd, Dublin OH 43017.


On both of their webpages, "www.lakewoodbuilding.com" and "www.prismconstructioncompany.com" they show picures of the same houses, and claim that these are houses that each company built.  The houses were NOT built by Lakewood Construction or Prism Construction!  


Jim Deering listed his occupation on his 9/2012 bankruptcy filing as "carpentry".  He is probably qualified to work on a framing crew, as long as someone else in in charge to make sure he hammers the right nails into the right places.  


Ask around before you hire these guys!  They have a VERY bad name in the Central Ohio Building Industry!!!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/31/2014 08:01 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Prism-Construction/Dublin-Ohio-43017/Prism-Construction-Lakewood-Construction-Associates-Lakewood-Builders-J-Mike-Hammel-Ji-1166550. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report


AUTHOR: - ()

First to clarify, my state should read Ohio, not Oklahoma.

Second, my wife and I certainly did contract with Mike Hammel, and as I stated in my original post, he was using the company "Lakewood Construction Associates" to defraud his customers.  He has since switched to using "Prism Construction Company", but the companies have identical owners, share the same office and employees, and on both company webpages they showed pictures of the same houses and each company claimed they were the builder.

I posted a review of Prism Construction on their google company webpage.  However, Mike then changed the name of the company on the google page to "Arborwood Apartment Rentals" in an attempt to hide my honest review.  I then added a new "Prism Construction Company" google company page and again posted an honest, accurate review about this con artist.  Mike Hamme's latest scheme to hide the truth about his horrible business practices is now to post  fake reviews of his companies online, using the pseudonym "Satisfied Client".  He has posted these reviews twice to google, and once to Yelp.  The interesting thing is Mr Satisfied Client posted these reviews to Lakewood Construction's page on yelp, and both Prism Construction and Arborwood Apartment Rentals on google!  (It is actually illegal for a business to post reviews about themselves disguised as reviews from real customers)

Also, Mike Hammel's wife and co-conspirator Nisha recently filed bankruptcy, and in her bankruptcy application she stated that her husband Mike has ZERO income from his construction company, and that his only form of income was $350 a month from 8 run down apartments.  The apartments were taken in the bankruptcy, so it appears that Mike Hammel has no income whatsoever and is now a kept man who lives off his wife's $125,000 annual income!

In addition, Jim Deering, Mike's co-conspirator, has been running into money troubles as well.  Jim filed bankruptcy in 2012 and told the bankruptcy court that his profession for the last 29 years was "carpentry".  Jim apparently has not been paying his home mortgage, and the bank has now filed a motion for default judgement.  Jim Deering's house will be foreclosed and sold at a sheriff's sale sometime in the next few months.  

Mike's latest scheme appears to be developing a 7 acre parcel next to his house.  Mike owned the land under the LLC "Tartan Meadows", but recently "sold" the property to "Touchpoint Investments LLC", which is a company owned by his brother.  When Mike transferred the property, his brother's wife reported it to the Union County Auditor as an arms length transaction. She signed under penalty of perjury that this was accurate. Because of this, the value of the land is the "sale" price of $108,000, rather than the actual value of the land which is probably closer to $500,000.  Since this transaction was not actually an arms length transaction, and because it appears to have been done to hide this asset from Mike and Nisha's numerous creditors, this was a fraudulent conveyance.

Finally, the BBB is not a reputable organization, and their ratings cannot be trusted.  Companies can pay the BBB to remove negative reviews, and/or for an A+ rating!  Do not trust the BBB's rating of Prism Construction or Mike Hammel.  

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Prism Construction has NEVER contracted with Mr. or Mrs. Hulick. For an ACCURATE MEASURE of our Reputation please visit http://www.bbb.org/centralohio where we enjoy an ( A+ RATING )

AUTHOR: Prism Construction - (USA)

 Prism Construction Company has    NEVER    contracted with or conducted business with Mr. or Mrs. Hulick in any way.  While we have   politely   tried to work with Mr. Hulick to address his issues, it seems he will not hear any truth and is committed to cyber bullying and spreading false information about our company and its staff personally....including my wife who has nothing to do with the company.    We pray for Mr. Hulick....so that he may find Peace in his heart.


For an ACCURATE MEASURE of our company's    Reputation,   Quality,   and   Customer  Satisfaction   please research us on the Better Business Bureau website  (Where we enjoy an     A+ RATING   )   http://www.bbb.org/centralohio/business-reviews/home-builders/prism-construction-company-llc-in-dublin-oh-70089111/


Also visit our website at http://www.PrismConstructionCompany.com so that you can get more information about our company and the Quality Services that we offer.  


(  Please be sure to click the 10tv video tab of our 2013 Parade Home  )




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#3 Author of original report

More information about Jim Deering and Mike Hammel

AUTHOR: ScammedinOhio - ()

Jim and Mike use the same general pattern of behavior with each of their victims which I will explain below.


During the pre-contract phase, Mike is never present, and clients are not even aware that he is the owner of the company. Mike Hammel is one of the most unlikeable people on Earth, and has such an awful personality that most people are instantly repulsed by him.  (In 2013 Prism Construction built a house at the 'Parade of Homes' and Mike Hammel scared off just about every potential customer he talked to there.  It got so bad that they had to hide potential customers from Mike because he is so completely awful)


Jim states that he is the owner of the company, but at a later stage every client will learn that Mike Hammel is the owner and Jim is merely an employee or possibly subcontractor.  In my case, Jim told me and my wife that he was the “owner” and he had a “partner” named Mike.  We thought that we were hiring Jim’s company and Mike owned a different company completely but that they shared office space, secretaries, etc.  At this early stage, Jim Deering also presented us with a list of houses that he claimed were built by Lakewood Construction Associates.  In actuality, only one of the houses on the three page list was built by Lakewood Construction.  At the time he gave us this list, Jim also lied and told us that Lakewood was building a house at the 2013 Central Ohio BIA parade of homes.  We later learned that Prism Construction was building a house there, but not Lakewood.

Also on Lakewood's webpage (lakewoodbuilding.com), they show pictures of some of these houses, and claim they are "custom built by Lakewood Construction Company".  Prism Construction Company also shows pictures of the same houses on their webpage (prismconstructioncompany.com) and claims they built the houses.  Actually though,  the houses were built by "Lakewood Builders"

Also, after doing more research on Jim Deering and looking at the bankruptcy he and his wife Cheri filed on 9/21/21 (case 2:12-bk-58200), I found out that Jim told the bankruptcy court that he was only employed by "Deering Carpentry LLC", which is an LLC he set up on 3/2010 after his first building company went broke (Lakewood Builders).  Also, from looking at the invoices and payments made on other victims' projects, it appears that all payments from Mike Hammel's companies to Jim Deering are funneled through Deering Carpentry.  In our experience with Jim, we had been working with him for over a year before we even met Mike Hammel, and Jim runs the day to day supervision of the building projects.  In addition, on many of the invoices, Jim has initialed them to mark them approved for payment.  It certainly seems odd that anyone who owns a contracting company would have a carpenter who is supposed to be a subcontractor approving invoices for payment, so perhaps this was just a way for Jim Deering to hide assets in his bankruptcy or maybe this is how Jim and Mike hide income from the IRS, who knows?)


Jim and Mike contract with their customers exclusively using a "cost plus" format. Because of the way the laws are written in Ohio, this basically gives them the right to lie about costs, hide costs, "forget" to send over pricing information, lose invoices from subcontractors, etc., all without having to worry about criminal charges for these behaviors.  Also, Jim told us that the contract he was presenting us was the "standard BIA contract".  This was another lie from Jim Deering.  Actually Mike Hammel hired an attorney, Kerry Boyle, to rewrite the standard BIA contract with most of the consumer protections removed from it.


Another interesting fact about Jim Deering, his previous company (Lakewood Builders) was kicked out of the BIA.  Apparently there were so many customers complaining about the quality of his work that Jim couldnt honor his warranty.  


Once the contract is signed and the loan is closed, a normal builder will start building your house.  Jim and Mike are no normal builders though.  They have a better plan.  They wait for months before actually starting any work.  Of course they still collect 10% of the construction loan right away.  Most likely that money is spent immediately on other jobs.  In my case, I caught Mike Hammel providing fraudulent accounting records that showed conflicting information about how much of my money he had paid himself.  From some of the records, it appears that he paid himself over ten grand almost immediately, well before he was actually due to have collected a penny.  Like I mentioned earlier, these guys are unbelievably unethical.

Once Lakewood actually starts building, the problems get even worse.  Jim Deering doesnt understand how to build a house, he isnt organized at all, and Mike Hammel is too busy creating phony accounting records and stiffing subcontractors to keep track of building a house.  At this point, Lakewood will occasionally update the estimates, but they update them with fraudulent pricing data at every stage of the build (estimates, build sheets, JCE).  This insures that when the customer finally learns the actual price they are being charged for the house, it is much higher than the price they have been quoted.  



Lakewood does not have any basic accounting knowledge, does not follow basic accounting procedures, they take no duty of due care, and they violate their fiduciary duty with reckless disregard for the client’s money which is in their possession.  They have no system to track purchases. They do not use purchase orders.  In addition, throughout the entire process, from the start of the build to the end, Mike and Jim continually hide costs, lie about costs, “forget” to send over pricing info, and “lose” invoices from subcontractors.  The accounting records they send over often contradict themselves, and the format in which the costs are presented to the customer are constantly changing. 



At some point in the build, the customer becomes aware that there are problems with the pricing.  At this time, Mike enters the picture.  He will claim that he is committed to customer service, shocked to learn there is a problem, and assures the customer he will help them resolve their issue.  He then conducts an “investigation” to review the work of Jim and his other employees.  


He actually “investigates” nothing, simply tells each victim the same story. His “team” has performed admirably and he is proud of their hard work. The reason the price is higher was because of client changes. He then talks down to the victim, and tells them that he understands how it is sometimes difficult to stay under budget and perhaps the client just has “sticker shock”, and if they will just let him, he will “take the project under his wing” or be their “personal construction concierge” available “24/7”. At every point in the process, he will claim that his company just wants to resolve the issues and finish building the house.  


By this time, Mike and Jim will have spent a great deal of time and effort working toward their goal, which is to end up negotiating against a person who has a partially built house way over budget, a bank loan that is closing that day or very soon,  a lien on the house which will take months and many thousands of dollars to sort out in court, a temporary living situation, etc.


At some point after this, either the house will be completed or Lakewood will be fired. Lakewood will then demand a large sum of money from the customer.


At this point, their attorney Kerry T. Boyle enters the picture.  Kerry threatens that if the customer does not pay Lakewood additional money, sign a settlement letting Lakewood keep the money they have taken, and sign a non-disclosure agreement, then Lakewood will file a mechanic’s lien on the property.  Other times, Kerry has already filed the mechanic’s lien, and the same threats are made with the offer that if the customer accepts, then Lakewood will release the mechanic’s lien.  

While anyone can file a mechanic’s lien by simply filling out a simple form and paying $28 to the local recorder, it takes months to get a lien released through the civil court system.  All of the prior builds Mike and Jim have completed for other customers have followed this same pattern, and Kerry has represented Mike and Jim on all of these builds that I have found.



Apparently Mike and Jim run their personal finances in a similar fashion, because both of them have serious financial difficulties.  Mike has had multiple properties foreclosed upon, he had to sell the 2013 Parade of Homes house in a short sale, and he even had his own house foreclosed on.  Fortunately for Mike, his parents apparently give him an allowance, so even though he can't run a business profitably and he is underwater on his house, he still manages to live a pretty decent lifestyle.  You would think that a 50 year old guy would be embarrassed getting an allowance from his parents, but Mike seems to be one of those people incapable of feeling guilt.

Jim on the other hand, is dead broke.  No rich parents to bail him out.  The only way he can make money nowadays seems to be scamming people into thinking that he still owns a construction company, and then helping Mike Hammel fleece them.



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