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Update: Unlicensed contractor ordered to pay $67,000

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The court said Matt and Tiffany Sargent were owed $67,000 from an unlicensed contractor but it could take awhile for them to get all the money. (Source: 3TV) The court said Matt and Tiffany Sargent were owed $67,000 from an unlicensed contractor but it could take awhile for them to get all the money. (Source: 3TV)
In a previous report, Matt Sargent showed where Bryan Hayden installed a water line hooked up to nothing. (Source: 3TV) In a previous report, Matt Sargent showed where Bryan Hayden installed a water line hooked up to nothing. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Since 3 On Your Side first reported about an East Valley couple's situation, a lot has happened. The guy who took their money has been ordered by the courts to pay back restitution, but that could be a slow process.

"This is Stone. Stone Martin Sargent. He made is debut a little early but he's here," Tiffany Sargent said.

A baby and a newly remodeled home made 2016 very memorable for Matt and Tiffany Sargent.

"It's been enjoyable so far now that we're in the house, enjoying living here," Tiffany said.

And while the Chandler couple can now enjoy their home, it was a much different story just 11 months ago when they were first profiled on 3 On Your Side.

At that time, Tiffany was pregnant. As for the family's house, you might recall it was left in shambles by an unlicensed contractor. Matt showed 3 On Your Side one example.

"This valve is one of my favorites. This was installed for our refrigerator. As you can see, it was not installed properly and actually it doesn't go to anything," Matt said.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Gilbert couple loses $67K to unlicensed contractor]

Can you imagine? A water line that was never hooked up to a water source. At the time, Matt said there were numerous examples of shoddy workmanship done by a company called Cabinet Pros run by Bryan Hayden.

The couple hired Hayden and paid him a sizable amount for projects like plumbing, flooring and electrical work.

"We gave him a total of $67,000 with probably less than 20 percent of the job complete," Matt said in the previous report.

But after handing over a series of checks totaling more than $67,000 and after realizing Hayden's work was inferior, the Sargents said they looked up his license number on the contract. That's when they discovered the number was nothing more than a Revenue Tax ID number, not a state issued contractor's license Hayden purported it to be.

The couple says that's when things went south and claim Hayden stopped showing up. So, they filed a complaint with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors which launched an investigation and wound up taking Bryan Hayden to court on criminal charges.

In fact, 3 On Your Side obtained a courtroom video of Hayden appearing before a judge in August on charges of contracting without a license.

"You knowingly and intelligently are pleading guilty, correct?" asked the judge. 

"Correct," Hayden said.

Hayden was ordered to pay restitution to the Sargents in the amount of $67,000. However, the amount is now up to $84,000 because the court and the Sargents say Hayden hasn't started those payments yet, so interest and late fees are racking up.

But get this, when 3 On Your Side contacted Hayden by phone to find out why he's not paying restitution, it must have triggered something because the court says he came down and made a $200 payment.

"I am hopeful that the ROC and the state of Arizona will be able to get something out of him for the criminal suit but that remains to be seen," Matt said.

The Sargents say they're frustrated and believe it could take years for when or if they see all of their money returned. 

As for Hayden, he refused to talk on camera with 3 On Your Side or explain what he's done with the Sargents' money.

"I think sometimes you just have to leave things, just accept them for what they are and move on with life. We have a lot to be happy about so that's what's important," Tiffany said.

This an unfortunate situation. At $200 a month, it could take decades to get their money back. Remember, always hire a licensed contractor, get three or four bids before hiring someone and do your research.

Copyright 2017 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.

Click to learn more about Gary.

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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