An East Valley homeowner is trying to recover financially after handing over $6,000 to a contractor who said he was licensed.
"It was our first house. We were excited to make it our own and get the backyard done in time for summer," said Andrew Nguyen.
He and his fiancee had big plans for the East Valley home they recently bought. Their big project, they say, was to spruce up their backyard.
“We really just wanted a nice, clean consistent look with some travertine in the patio and pool," Nguyen said.
After looking around online, Nguyen says they ended up hiring a guy named Carlo Papazian who claimed to work with a company called Scapes and Stones.
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“He had great reviews and the time that we hired him,” Nguyen said.
According to Nguyen, Papazian promised to make the backyard look beautiful. But, the price tag was hefty $12,000 and Papazian demanded $6,000 up front.
But after giving Papazian $6,000 back in April, Nguyen says Papazian didn't do much of anything and that's if he and his company showed up at all.
"Over the course of, say, a month and a half, they had only done maybe around four hours' worth of work," Nguyen said.
Nguyen says his home security cameras caught Papazian showing up a few times in a marked vehicle.
And in the backyard, cameras captured some of the minimal work Papazian really did.
"Here he is marking out some stuff where the travertine is supposed to go," Nguyen said.
But, after spray painting a few lines and dumping off some sand, Nguyen says Papazian and his guys stopped showing up altogether.
“He essentially said that he doesn't have any money to complete our job or to provide a refund,” Nguyen said.
So, 3 On Your Side got involved and we discovered the license for Scapes and Stones had been voluntarily canceled with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors about a month after Nguyen handed over all that money.
And according to the contracting board, they've logged 13 other complaints from consumers who say they were also duped by Papazian and expect more to come in.
So 3 On Your Side went to Papazian's Chandler home that he rents, but only after he refused to return our numerous emails and phone calls.
Eventually, a woman answered the door.
"Hello, I'm looking for Carlo?" Gary Harper asked.
“He's not here,” said the woman.
"OK, can I leave my business card for you?" Harper asked.
"Yes, you can leave your business card," she said.
"I'm airing a news report on him so," Harper said.
"Yeah I know what it's about," the woman said.
And then she slammed the door.
Apparently, Papazian does know what it's about because his attorney contacted 3 On Your Side by phone and said Papazian is in talks with the Arizona Attorney General's Office to resolve his ongoing problems but he refused to specify what that meant.
As for the Attorney General's Office, they tell 3 On Your Side they're aware of Papazian but wouldn't elaborate.
As for Nguyen, he wants justice, including getting his $6,000 back from Papazian.
“It's just really unfortunate that everyone works hard for their money and they're trying to do something nice for themselves and their family and they just get defrauded by Carlo,” Nguyen said.
The Registrar of Contractors tells me they want to hear from you if you were duped by this company or this contractor.
Of course, there are a lot of wheels in motion right now so we’ll give an update when there’s one.
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