3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

3OYS recoups thousands of dollars during July

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3 On Your Side spent a lot of time in July hunting. That is, hunting for unlicensed contractors who demanded money up front, but did no work.

Kim Gray says it happened to her. She told 3 On Your Side that she gave checks totaling $2,500 three months ago to an unlicensed contractor in order to remodel her kitchen.

Instead, she says he vanished with her money.

"I work two jobs to make ends meet, and $2,500 is money to me that I can't afford to lose," Gray told 3 On Your Side.

Gray says the unlicensed contractor went by the name Carlos, and advertised a business called Carlos' Remodeling, which she found on Craigslist.  But, she was told to make out the remodeling checks to someone named Cristal Urena.

Because Gray did not have Carlos' last name and his phone found on the advertisement had been disconnected, 3 On Your Side went after the person who cashed Gray's checks, Cristal Urena.

Our investigation led us to a south Phoenix neighborhood where we eventually tracked down a guy who identified himself as Luis..

He initially spoke to 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper, using English, and said he was Cristal Urena's husband. He also acknowledged that he recognized the cashed checks from Kim Gray that we showed him, but then said he didn't understand English anymore.

"Well, you did know something and now you don't?" Harper asked.

 "I tell you what, the police will be here next, not me," Harper told the man.

Turns out, the guy driving off in the car was actually Carlos, the unlicensed contractor we were looking for.

After 3 On Your Side confronted him, he returned all $2,500 to Gray the very next day.  In fact, she took a picture of all the cash, and showed it to 3 On Your Side.

Gray says she never would have seen her money again without 3 On Your Side's involvement. "I’m so grateful for you guys," she said. "I thank you so much for your hard work you put in and finding this guy." 

3 On Your Side also helped out a guy named Andy Salazar. He and his wife had a car loan with Hughes Federal Credit Union, and the couple paid off that auto loan 13 months early.

However, after sending the Salazars the title and thanking him for their business, the credit union also sent them a letter, saying the credit union had made a mistake and that they needed to hand over another $500.

Salazar said no, that there was no mistake and that he wasn't paying anything.  

After being threatened with a debt collector, 3 On Your Side contacted Hughes Federal Credit Union, which agreed to drop the matter and also agreed not to bother Salazar and his wife any more.

"Our most sincere gratitude to Gary Harper and the 3 On Your Side team for your swift action in helping us resolve our issue with Hughes Federal Credit Union," Salazar said. 

3 On Your Side also helped out a viewer named Bertrand Nunley.  He's a chef who purchased a food truck from a manufacturer based out of Georgia.

Nunley sent $10,000 to the owner of the business, a guy named Zachary Singleton.

However, Singleton kept the money and did nothing, thinking Georgia sure is a long way from Arizona.

But, he didn't count on 3 On Your Side getting a hold of the Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office down in Georgia, which arrested Zachary Singleton on felony charges stemming from allegedly ripping off of Nunley and other victims.

As a result, Singleton returned $4,000 back to our viewer, thinking he might stay out of trouble with the law.  But, it was too little, too late.

 It's not all the money Nunley gave him, but the chef says the partial refund and the arrest of Singleton only happened after 3 On Your Side got involved.

"Well 3 On Your Side definitely got the ball rolling a lot quicker than I had anticipated," Nunley told us.

These are just some of the viewers we helped.  However, when you add them all up, 3 On Your Side was able to get $7,307 returned.

And for the year, the amount is $51,993.

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