3OYS UPDATE: Unlicensed plumber fined

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -- Chris Camboni, of Apache Junction, remains hot under the collar these days. And his anger is with an unlicensed contractor named Joe Larned.

"If you're dealing with Joe Larned, you're going to get ripped off and you won't get your money back," Camboni said.

In a previous 3 On Your Side report, Camboni told us how he needed plumbing installed in the Apache Junction home he was building. The company he hired was called Solutions Plus Plumbing Services, owned by Larned.

"The bid was $6,000," Camboni said. "I gave him $3,000. And then when we were done with the under-the-slab stuff and he had plumbed the house and hooked up the shower, stuff like that, we came back and I gave him another $2,000."

After shelling out a total of $5,000, Camboni says he discovered some disturbing news. Larned isn't even a licensed plumber as required by Arizona state law.

Apparently, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors license number Larned proudly displays on his invoices actually belongs to a reputable, licensed plumbing company, not him.

Camboni says he feels duped, and he hopes his new home won't experience leaks or other plumbing issues down the road as a result.

"Lies, more lies, covered up with more lies," a frustrated Camboni said. "That's how he gets through life, is lying and stealing from other people."

3 On Your Side discovered Larned was, in fact, convicted and placed on probation for stealing almost $73,000 from his former employer.

It's just too much to take for Camboni, who says he had no idea the guy with the grandfatherly image had such a checkered past.

And now, Larned is reportedly drumming up business by using another contractor's license number.

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors told 3 On Your Side it has wrapped up its investigation against Larned and taken action. The agency issued a $2,500 fine against Larned for contracting without a license, but it didn't stop there.

After 3 On Your Side's initial report, the contracting board sent its investigation to the Pinal County Attorney's Office and asked for criminal charges to be filed.

"I told him I was going to call Gary Harper, 3 On Your Side," Camboni said. "I told him that this was going to happen. Everything that I've said is going to happen."

3 On Your Side tried numerous times to try to speak with Larned about this case. In an email to us, Larned said he'll be in contact with the Registrar of Contractors.

If, and when, the Pinal County Attorney's Office files criminal charges, 3 On Your Side will air another update.