3OYS investigates 1/2 Price Cabinets

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz -- Several homeowners are out thousands of dollars after they say their trust and their bank accounts were taken advantage of by a contractor.

The company is called 1/2 Price Cabinets. Homeowners say it's a catchy name, a name they should have avoided.   

"We were going to knock this wall out right here," Joe Verdugo said.

Verdugo and his family have lived in their Scottsdale home for 15 years and decided to finally have their entire kitchen re-done. That's when Joe came across an ad for a company called 1/2 Price Cabinets, a company that apparently likes to advertise. 

So, Joe called 1/2 Price Cabinets and made an appointment. 

"He brought samples here to the house and then we went to his business up on Hayden and he just looked legit, you know?" said Verdugo.
Joe felt comfortable with 1/2 Price Cabinets. He even handed over an $8,000 deposit to the company's owner, a guy by the name of Daniel Louis Klabunde.

But not long after handing over all that money, Joe received a shocking letter from 1/2 Price Cabinets. Joe told 3 On Your Side, "The letter acknowledges that I gave them the $8,000 that he went out of business on the 10th and that I’m not getting my money back period."
He's not the only one. Other consumers just like Joe Verdugo told 3 On Your Side they gave thousands of dollars to Daniel Louis Klabunde only to have received that same letter that he was out of business and was keeping their money.

One consumer was so angry, he filed a theft report with Scottsdale Police, but after investigating, cops called it a civil issue.

3 On Your Side obtained a photograph of Klabunde and tried looking for him. However, his last known business address was cleaned out. The only thing left were cabinet samples he used to make sales. 

We did manage to get Klabunde on the telephone, which is when he told us he's not a clever con man, but rather a failed businessman who used consumers' money to keep his sinking company afloat. 

"I did not take or steal their money sir...it went into the normal course of business and bills were paid because you've got ongoing business," said Klabunde.

But Joe says knowing his $8,000 was used to keep a cabinet business going makes him even more angry.

"He came into my house, looked me in the eye took my money and gave us the shaft," Joe proclaimed.

Daniel Louis Klabunde says he's considering filing bankruptcy, and it won't be his first time.  He also filed bankruptcy back in 2007.  

This is a good time to remind you to always deal with licensed contractors because you stand a good chance of getting your money back from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

To find out if a contractor is licensed, visit the Arizona Registrar of Contractors at www.azroc.gov/forms/contractorsearch.html.