3 On Your Side

Valley construction company leaves homeowners frustrated

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"We gave them $15,000," homeowner Sarah Trigg said. (Source: 3TV) "We gave them $15,000," homeowner Sarah Trigg said. (Source: 3TV)

Some Valley homeowners can't believe it. Not only are they out money, but they say what little work that was done on their homes was terrible.

Sarah Trigg had some pretty big plans for the backyard of her Paradise Valley home but she knew what she wanted done would come with a hefty price tag.

"I wanted it to look like a five-star resort," Trigg said. 

Trigg hired a Valley business called Murray and Sons Construction. The cost of the project was sizable, right around $60,000. To get the job started, Trigg said Murray and Sons Construction asked for a down payment.  

"We gave them $15,000," Trigg said. 

After getting that money, according to Trigg, the man who runs Murray and Sons Construction didn't do much before walking off the job and disappearing.

"He came and actually removed the grass, he torched it and he removed it. That's all he did in my yard," she said. 

3 On Your Side got involved and discovered that a month after cashing Trigg's check, Murray and Sons Construction's license was suspended by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. We also discovered the company has 10 open complaints with the contracting board. So who's behind the company? The Better Business Bureau lists Paul La Chance as the owner. The Registrar of Contractors told 3 On Your Side it's very familiar with him, saying he's already been found guilty three times in the past for contracting without a license.

"What was supposed to be here? Well, this would be the built-in barbecue, [and] the grill would be there," Nancy Patchak said.  

Patchak said she's another recent victim of Le Chance. She gave him nearly $23,000 to remodel her backyard and said that not only did he walk off the job but what little work he did do was shoddy.

In fact, Patchak said she had inspectors from the city of Phoenix and the Registrar of Contractors tell her that the work is not up to code. She also said that if she hired another contractor to finish the project the new contractor would have to tear everything down and start over. 

"He has to be stopped. I mean, he's very brazen. He said right from the get-go, once we told him that he was done that we'd never be able to touch him. He said,  'File your claim with the Registrar of Contractors, you can't touch me. I’ve moved on. I have a new license,'" Patchak said. 

3 On Your Side went to La Chance's Moon Valley home a few times but we never caught up with him. However, the more we looked into La Chance, the more we found. For example, in 2010 the Internal Revenue Service filed a lien against him for more than $600,000. In order to attract customers, he operates under a string of different company names and websites, some of which claim to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau. However, the Better Business Bureau told 3 On Your Side that was news to them and that he shouldn't be using their logo at all. 

"The fact that he's doing this continually to innocent people is more heartbreaking than the fact that he has our money," Patchak said. 

Trigg and Patchak both said they can't believe what happened and wonder just how many consumers have been taken advantage of by La Chance.

La Chance's attorney wrote 3 On Your Side an email, saying they are working to resolve these issues. The entire unedited letter follows:

September 30, 2015
Re: Murray and Sons Construction
To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the concerns of Mrs. Trigg. At this time, we have pending litigation against former employees that prevent us from discussing the situation in greater detail but below is a brief response.

Due to issues beyond our control, we were forced to stop doing business earlier this year with Mrs. Trigg. Currently, we are pursuing pending litigation against former employees and outstanding invoices, which when complete, will allow us to rectify the situation we are currently facing.

As for Mrs. Trigg’s particular situation, we have been working diligently to resolve the issue and find an amicable resolution to cover the work already completed and materials already delivered/ordered. Unfortunately, we are still working to resolve the situation. However, we strongly anticipate resolving the issue in a manner favorable to all parties as we settle the final operational pieces of our business.

Murray and Sons Construction is built upon a strong reputation. This is supported by the hundreds of positive customer reviews that are available online. It is unfortunate that a few unsatisfied customers have the ability to outweigh the hundreds of above satisfactory projects completed by Murray and Sons.

Thank you,
Lafayette Newsome, Esq.

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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