3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Small business owners 'steered' out of $4,000

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Paola Castro and her husband Tomas paid $4,000 upfront for a piece of equipment but never received it. (Source: 3TV) Paola Castro and her husband Tomas paid $4,000 upfront for a piece of equipment but never received it. (Source: 3TV)
Pete Nunez with PGN Equipment Sales and Supplies hasn't returned anyone's phone calls. (Source: 3TV) Pete Nunez with PGN Equipment Sales and Supplies hasn't returned anyone's phone calls. (Source: 3TV)

Paola Castro and her husband Tomas just recently opened their own family business and to do something like that takes money.

“We saved around 3 years like saving and saving money,” Castro said.

Their business is called Master Alignment, and it pretty much focuses on minor car maintenance.

“We do alignment, balance, suspensions,” Castro said.

But to get their small business up and running, they had to purchase equipment and one of the most important pieces of machinery was something that could do front end alignments.

So the couple went to this company called PGN Equipment Sales and Supplies in Phoenix and spoke to Pete Nunez the owner.

According to Paola, Nunez could get them a front end alignment machine for their shop, but he needed $4,000 up front.

“He said, 'OK, I can make you a deal.' He said he wanted the $4,000. We went to the bank. We got everything in cash, and we gave it to him,” Castro said. 

That was back in January, and nearly nine months later, Paola and her husband say they haven't received that equipment.

As for Nunez, they say he's vanished with the money they gave him.

“We've been working so hard to get some money, and then we trust this person that he said he's gonna help us but he didn't help us. He just took our money, and he's like, bye,” Castro said.   

3 On Your Side got involved and at first, Gary Harper tried calling and emailing Nunez but no one ever answered.

So, we went to PGN Equipment Sales and Supplies, but we discovered the business appeared to be closed down.

3 On Your Side has learned that Nunez travels to Mexico frequently and hasn't been around for a while.

Castro and her husband say it's a shame. They gave Nunez $4,000 and have nothing to show for their money.

To keep their business afloat, they were forced to purchase alignment equipment from another company and are making payments on it.

Castro says losing that $4,000 to Nunez is a hard pill to swallow.

“We give him everything, like our savings because we've been working and working so hard to get this,” Castro said. 

3 On Your Side is still looking for Nunez. When we find him, we’ll let you know. 

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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