Unlicensed contractor gets prison time; victims get justice

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PHOENIX -- A Phoenix woman who was ripped off for $800 by an unlicensed contractor says she finally has justice.

It looks like the guy who ripped her off is going to prison.

This should be a lesson to all the unlicensed contractors out there who take money from people and then never show up to do the work that they're hired for.


If you make a living doing such a thing, just remember, it's only a matter of time before it catches up with you.

"Finally, it's done," Judy Sperbeck said. "It's over with and it's done."

Sperbeck is talking about the wheels of justice and how they relate to David Wells, an unlicensed contractor who took Sperbeck for $800.

Last Christmas, Sperbeck told 3 On Your Side how she hired a company called Select Flooring to install flooring in her house.

But after giving Wells, the company owner, $800 for materials, Sperbeck says he took off with her money.

3 On Your Side discovered Sperbeck was not the only victim and that Wells had warrants out for his arrest.

3 On Your Side went to Wells' condo, but we couldn't do much about those arrest warrants. But after my report aired, Phoenix police did something.

They went to Wells' house and took him into custody, something Sperbeck is convinced wouldn't have happened without 3 On Your Side's involvement.

"You did the job that had to be done. That's all I can say," Sperbeck said. "Without you, he'd still be out there."

And just last week, after pleading guilty to four counts of theft, Wells was sentenced to three and a half years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

He was also ordered to pay his victims $9,700 in restitution.

"He's going to the big-boy prison," Sperbeck said. "I really do hope that when he gets out that he has learned and he's got some help and it will turn him around."

Wells is not the only unlicensed contractor who found himself behind bars after a 3 On Your Side investigation.

In fact, in October, another contractor profiled by 3 On Your Side goes on trial. He also faces several years in prison.