Chandler woman says shutter contractor ran off with her money

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by Gary Harper

Bio | Email | Follow: @GaryHarper3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 26 at 7:00 PM

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Alexa Dalbik says she and her family enjoy their Chandler home, but they're trying to make improvements.

“Yeah, we're trying to fix it up and make it look nice and we're wanting to paint and put lots of little improvements and everything,” Dalbik said.

One of the biggest improvements they wanted was to get some nice window coverings.

“We were going to get all natural wood shutters, plantation shutters, on each of the five windows,” Dalbik said.

So nine months ago, they searched on the website Craigslist and came across a guy named Ken Montoya and his company called Showcase Shutters.

“He said that we needed half down now upon ordering and the other half upon delivery of the product,” Dalbik said.

Dalbik said she wrote out a check for $750 to Showcase Shutters but asked Montoya not to deposit it for three days when money would be in the account.

Dalbik said the check was successfully cashed and after that, she said she never heard from Montoya again.

"After that he never returned a phone call, he never answered the phone," Dalbik said. "I called at all hours of the night, all times during the day I emailed, nothing!”

3 On Your Side got involved and discovered Montoya has operated under several different business names. However, we eventually found him running a shutter and blind shop in Phoenix, so we went there looking for answers.
   
Montoya said he never ran off with Dalbik's money and always intended on finishing the job.

Montoya said Dalbik's shutters are basically finished and never knew Dalbik was looking for him the past nine months.
  
He also said he never delivered the shutters to her because he thought that $750 check she gave him had bounced.

"There's no problem, the problem for me is that I got a bounced check and I can't build a product or select a product if I don't have the second half," Montoya said.

Dalbik said that's pure nonsense. Her check cleared on the third day he was supposed to have cashed it.
  
Regardless, Montoya said he wanted to put the matter behind him and after realizing he really did cash Dalbik's check nine months ago, he agreed to give me a cashier's check for $750 so I could return the money to her.

“I just didn't want her to feel like she was stuck with us," Montoya said. "If she didn't want the shutters I'd be happy to give her money back.”

And with that, 3 On Your Side promptly delivered the $750 cashier's check to Dalbik.

"I feel like I won Publishers Clearing House!"Dalbik said.

Its money Dalbik said she never would have received without my involvement.

"You did for me in probably one hour what no one could do for me in nine months, so thank you, Channel 3," Dalbik said.

By the way, Montoya has been in hot water before with the Registrar of Contractors and even had his license revoked. He currently still doesn't have a license but claims for his work, he doesn't need one.

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