3OYS confronts unlicensed contractor

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

GILBERT, Ariz. -- I talk about unlicensed contracting a lot and this report has to do with an unlicensed contractor who claims he's trying to make things right, even though he found himself in a court of law.

His name is Frank Marquez and when a 3 On Your Side crew finally caught up with him, he was leaving a Gilbert courtroom.

Marquez was in court on charges of contracting without a license. Part of the complaints against him include walking off the job after being paid for them. He has similar charges pending in other Valley cities. So, why is he walking off so many jobs after being paid?

"Well, I had a fire and my company was burned to the ground and I was unable to finish the project that's why, OK?" he said.

Well, it may not be OK for John Fuery, who was also in court claiming to be a victim.

"I hired Frank Marquez to do some cabinets, the installation, he took our deposit of $900-plus and then he never came back, could not get in touch with him," Fuery said. "I tried contacting his father because they both showed up."

The Marquez name may sound familiar. That's because 3 On Your Side aired a report recently regarding Jesse Marquez, who is Frank's father. The Arizona Registrar of Contractors claims our report helped zero in on the Marquez family and helped them nab Frank.

As for his dad, no one seems to know where he is and Frank certainly isn't saying. But Frank is talking about the money he owes people, saying he intends on paying everyone back. In fact, he said he's already paid back consumers who were left stranded by his dad, consumers like Kimberly Penrod, who said Marquez returned $3,300 after our 3 On Your Side report aired.

"Back and forth between Jesse and Frank and 3 On Your Side and the investigators at the Registrar of Contractors and it's a lot of work, but in the end it all worked out," Penrod said.

And as for not having a contractor's license?

"I'm working to make a living, that's all I'm doing," Frank Marquez said. "I have a right to work as a United States citizen."

And with that, Marquez left municipal court, saying he intends on getting an attorney to handle the rest of his criminal charges.

Marquez was offered a plea deal, which included five days in jail and restitution, but he rejected the offer and is looking for an attorney. We'll let you know what happens.