Monday, 26 October 2020

Fake contractor demands and keeps homeowner’s $1000 deposit

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A Scottsdale homeowner is learning a lesson when it comes to renovating her home.

The man Linh Vu hired turned out to be a fake contractor, not licensed.

Regardless, he wanted to start her job for a $1,000. But after getting all that money, he wanted more.

Vu wants to remodel her home and knows exactly what she wants. In fact, for one bathroom, she already picked out the decorative tile.

“It’s very colorful. We’re getting to name this bathroom the sun and moon bathroom,” Vu said.

Besides removing the shower and installing a bathtub, Vu also wants to put new flooring throughout the house.

So, back in August, Vu started looking on the internet for a contractor.

“Well, we are millennials so we go on to Facebook to ask you know, who has a good contractor and has done work on their properties before,” Vu said.

Vu eventually came across an unlicensed contractor named Josh Cavanaugh, who advertises a business called Elite Remodeling Specialists which also goes by Elite Remodeling and Design.

Arizona’s Family is familiar with Cavanaugh because nearly two years ago, he came to us claiming to be a victim when someone reportedly stole tools from his truck.

But this time around, 3 On Your Side isn’t helping Cavanaugh. We’re looking for him.

That’s because Vu says Cavanaugh drew up a handwritten invoice and said he could do her remodeling job for just over $11,200.

That’s when Cavanaugh demanded and received this $1,000 check to get started.

“He showed up very quick (sic) and he got the check and cashed it the very same day, like two hours after he got the check,” said Vu.

But Vu says before Cavanaugh ever returned to even start her project, he started texting and asking for thousands of dollars more in advance, sometimes in the middle of the night and that she says was weird.

“Yes, he was enthusiastic but then later on the enthusiasm became a little erratic,” Vu said.

Vu says she didn’t feel comfortable moving ahead and asked for her $1,000 back.

In response, she says Cavanaugh offered to return half, but Vu says he hasn’t even returned that much.

3 On Your Side called Cavanaugh who told me he records his phone calls.

But at this point, things took a turn when Gary Harper asked him about his state-required license, a license he doesn’t have.

“Why aren’t you licensed? Why are you doing this work when this whole shenanigans is illegal? You’re not supposed to be doing this and you know that as well as I do,” said Harper.

“Are you, are you trying to set me up on the news here? Is that what your question is about?” said Cavanaugh.

“Well, I am doing a news report, absolutely,” said Harper.

Cavanaugh goes on to say that he’ll mail Vu a check for $500 and then another $500 at a later date for a total of $1,000 because, in his words, he doesn’t steal.

“They’ll definitely get the money. I’m not going to steal from anybody. You know, I’m a hard working person. I don’t steal from people. I don’t take advantage of people,” said Cavanaugh.

As for Vu, she says she’ll be looking for her money and says the ordeal has been a real eye-opener.

“A good thing to understand is that you shouldn’t be intimidated into giving contractors more money if you don’t feel good about it,” said Vu.

A complaint has been filed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.


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