3 On Your Side confronts unlicensed contractor

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz -- 3 On Your side finally caught up with Daniel Louis Klabunde outside municipal court in Mesa where he tried to run when he saw Gary Harper.

After thinking about it Klabunde did turn around, but he wasn't thrilled to answer questions.

In July, 3 On Your Side reported on a company called 1/2 Price Cabinets, owned by Klabunde.

At the time, he was sending out letters to his customers saying his business was going under after he had accepted money as down payments from them.

Numerous customers like Joe Verdugo told 3 On Your Side at the time they felt deceived after handing over thousands of dollars for work that was never started or completed.

Verdugo said he gave Klabunde $8,000.

"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," said Verdugo.

Documents compiled by 3 On Your Side show Klabunde accepted more than $85,000 in customer deposits. Those customers claim Klabunde ran out on them.

However, when Gary Harper confronted Klabunde about all that money, he claimed to be the victim.

"I lost everything,” said Klabunde

Shane McMenemy said he's also a victim.

McMenemy owns his own cabinet business and said he's out $3,000 -- money he said Klabunde owes him for past jobs.

"It's tough because there are a lot of people who are there that take advantage of other people," said McMenemy.

At least three valley Police departments have investigated Klabunde. They turned their their cases over to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

Klabunde was entering Mesa Municipal Court for the first of what could be several court hearings. 

But the unlicensed contractor maintains he did nothing wrong.  Although he acknowledges taking tens of thousands of dollars just to keep his business afloat.