Contractor HAS my money...but no work...

54 Replies

Well I'm not going to sit back and not try to get it back...I got done trying to cut corners and costs...wont happen again... Regardless sitting back doing nothing is probably not the right approach... In addition he is still out there, and helping others not falling into his trap or others like him is also important... 

Start a binder with all relevant documents, correspondence, copies of checks, etc. - evidence- to present to your lawyer. You will need exhibits when you sue this contractor. Prepare a written timeline summary.

If you can get something solid then pursue the guy, sure. It's a noble cause to look out for the next person to fall for the trap, but it doesn't sound like you'd have much to go with. And there will always be scammers. 

If all you have are few emails and an address that may or may not be real, your time might be better off going to work and starting to earn that 7k back. It sucks, but chasing a dead end won't help grow your investing business. 

I always charge a start-up fee for the work (how much depends on the size of the project). All funds must be deposited in am escrow account and cannot be withdrawn without both the client and my signatures. But we also have a contract, a schedule, an estimate which specifies what exactly is being done and how much each trade is costing, and a signed list of all material and finish selections. If I and the client don't live in the same town, they must sign a POA over to a local inspector or family member who will inspect the work at the phases designated in the contract.

@Hilly Fricks I'm so sorry to hear this story. That sucks!

I'm sure you can figure out who this person is by starting with the account number and maybe use an online skip trace company to try to find him. 

Sad to hear you Hilly. Goodluck. Thanks! - Ola 

@Hilly Fricks is this him?  If so he is only 25 years old and according to Gravatar he is a  Gesigner / Animal Activist. 

Could his company be Dalton's Designs?

This is the only one I could come up with in Muncie.

If this is him I'll be glad to send you some of his known addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and relatives. 

Don't let him get by with this.

I would do the things above,  and also contact him telling your sister/brother-in-law/uncle is a judge (don't mention they judge cat shows) and you were advised this is a felony wire fraud, or just fraud, whichever seems more plausible, punishable by a minimum of 2 years in prison. Tell him you want the work performed by X date or your money back, and that it won't cost you a penny to prosecute because you have multiple lawyers in your family. Tell him the judge has connections at the consumer fraud division in your state, etc. or with the DA, let him know he picked the wrong mark and that this will make his life hell until you get either work performed to your satisfaction or money returned. 

I just had this happen with a person building a shed. I never, ever give money to contractors upfront but had a moment of overload/weakness/temporary insanity and wrote a check (luckily less than the one you wrote). Later, when there was no progress on the shed, I found out he didn't tell me his correct last name, and there were eight others after him. I did the above, and I now have a decent shed. Part of what I told him was true, and part was BS (my brother is actually a real judge, but I never spoke to him), I added enough detail to make it seem like it was real. You aren't dealing with a rocket scientist, and he will not want law enforcement involved or legal troubles. He also knows the average person who he defrauds doesn't want to pay a lawyer to chase 7K, but it won't cost you anything. It is worth a shot, my scammer was on the job site the day I sent the text. That said, your guy probably spent the $7,000, and couldn't afford materials without scamming someone else, but you have nothing to lose.

Originally posted by @Michael Gessner :

@Hilly Fricks I would contact the local consumer protection, or licensing board. If they are anything like the licensing board here , if hes operating without a license he will face jail time his equipment can be seized and so on, if he is licensed they may be able to suspend his license pending a complaint.  By me it is a criminal offense to take money from a how owner and not start the work. As a contractor myself I always get a deposit upfront upon singing contract, I would never do work for someone who will not give a deposit. Next time make sure you have everything in writing with every detail possible. Good luck

@Michael Gessner I understand why you would require a deposit prior to starting work but I’m wondering if theres an escrow type of account that could hold the funds until the contract is satisfied? Seems like this would provide adequate protection and assurance to both parties. 

@James ONeill , technically my licensing board requires the funds to be put in some sort of escrow, but no one ever does. The best and only way to protect your self is finding an honest and reliable contractor, I would start by attending your local meetups, get some contractors thru people in the game already. best of luck to you, unfortunately this happens all the time and it sucks, I had a contractor screw me last year for big bucks, we did a job together and sure enough took my share and ran off, and guess what I have no recourse, by the time I go after him ill walk away with penny's, so believe it or not it happens on both ends of the spectrum 

This is a lie, and you've been reported to the fbi. Anyone wanting to know the truth can email me through Facebook. I'll have the truth posted later today. Those suggesting illegal activity were also reported to the fbi and your local attorney general's office.

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

@Dalton York just posted THE OTHER SIDE of this story.

This is a train wreck from day one.

 I am going with our local boy !!!   whats funny about BP is how everyone jumps on the bandwagon.. without hearing the ( Paul Harvey rest of the story)  who knows like most things truth is probably in the middle.. 

Hello Dalton this is exactly what I hoped for!! Fish you out!! Where were you for the last two months??? You have been avoiding me?? Why?? I wonder... You have my 7k give it back!! And let me and everyone else here know how exactly this is a lie!!...I can put here all the email threads to prove that you stole my actually said you are going to refund me... 

19/11/17 "Regarding 18th st, the crew has been waiting for the electricity to be turned on still. I mentioned this needing done to you about a week 1/2 or two weeks ago (which was BS...the utilities were on you can check with Anderson Utilities!!) . I would have thought you would have had it on by now and they would have been able to get the work done. But I will be getting the refund back out to you" 


So @Dalton York I am asking it is a shame it had to come to this I wish we could have sorted this out between us with you returning funds and us parting ways in a civilized way...but apparently for some reason you think you could get away with it...I was in Indy a month or so ago, I tried to get hold of you to meet you but for some reason you were "too busy", with what. scamming other people...??! You have caused me great loss and agony...I had to sell the home at a loss with all the pipes frozen up because I did not have any money to fix the roof/windows/furnace and all the other issues as got scammed by you!! Apart from the fact you are totally illegal No contractor Licence. no realtor Licence. Talking about that where is the security deposit and rents you picked up from the tenants on Russey Street...oh is that also a LIE!! Please go to the FBI save me the hassle.  

I spoke to my attorney one of the best in the business...he will get to you its costing me more money that I will be billing you for...but let me tell you this is just the beginning...there is no way in the world I will let you get away with it... I will make sure everyone in Muncie, Indiana and over all the USA will know your name and keep far away from you!!Just wait!! 

You have my bank details put that money back in immediately!!  

Sounds like you two need to get together and hash this on the phone. As always I've learned a lot from this post.. This is the most entertaining post I've seen on BP in a long time.. Good luck to you two!

Probably time to talk to a lawyer. A letter from an attorney may very well wake him up.