Sun City couple gets reimbursed $25,000

Posted: Updated:
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- When 3 On Your Side went to see Ryan Blair, he did not want much to do with us.

In fact, he showed us the front door and demanded we leave his employer’s office.

But why? Well, it all goes back to 2010, when Doug and Bonnie Tomlinson were profiled in 3 On Your Side claiming to have been taken for almost $25,000.

“We're not talking about a small amount of money. This is quite a bit," Bonnie said.

The Tomlinsons hired Blair, a licensed contractor who owned a company called Blair Landscaping.

They say they liked him, but after having a few plans drawn up with ideas to overhaul their yard and after giving him a check in advance, the Tomlinsons say Blair took off and was never seen again.

"You just never know,” Doug told 3 On Your Side. “You trust people and make you think they are your best friend.”

At the time, 3 On Your Side went to every known address for Ryan Blair -- even his gated condominium -- but he never called us back.

I urged the Tomlinsons to file a complaint with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors in hopes of getting their money back from the agency's recovery fund.

Today, Bonnie says she and her husband sure are glad they did. "Before 3 On Your Side got involved, I thought we were just sunk,” Bonnie said.

It took the contracting board 18 months to finalize their investigation into Bonnie and Doug's loss, but just recently it issued a check for nearly $25,000 to the Sun City couple.

"The process works," Bonnie insisted. "I don't care who you are."

If you get your license, bonded and insured contractors, there is a recovery fund and you can recover your loss.”

But whatever happened to the $25,000 that was given to Blair? What did he do with all that money?

I found Blair currently working for a real-estate tax company, but he did not want to talk about Tomlinsons.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Don't touch the camera,” 3 On Your Side told Blair as he pushed us out the front door.

Blair did tell me he declared bankruptcy, but would not say anything else.

Again, if you use a licensed contractor, you have protection in case something like this happens to you. Last fiscal year alone, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors doled out $5.6 million to people like the Tomlinsons -- proof that the program works.