3 On Your Side

Convicted felon returns money following 3OYS investigation

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Abe Shepherd (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Abe Shepherd (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

George Stone is updating his San Tan Valley house and he started in the kitchen.

"I had these counter tops installed, which are very nice you know," Stone said as she showed 3 On Your Side around his home.

And now, he's moving on to his bathroom.

"Yeah, as you can see the floor in it is cracking," Stone said has he showed us his the floor of his shower enclosure.

That enclosure is around 20 years old and in bad shape.

Stone has been wanting to replace it, so when he came across a flyer in his front yard advertising all kinds of handyman work, he called the number and set up an appointment with a guy named Abe Shepherd.

"So, you took him into the bathroom and you showed him what you wanted done,” 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper asked.

"I did," Stone replied. “And (Shepherd) he said that will be no problem.”

But after handing over a $500 check, George says Abe Shepherd has given excuse after excuse for not showing up.

Cheryl Bares lives in the same neighborhood and says she's not surprised.

She and her husband found the same flyer and paid Abe Shepherd $700 to install flooring.

But for all that money, Bares says all she gets are excuses for not showing.

"He said, 'I'm not going to take your money and run,” she said.

“And what did he do?" Harper asked.

“Well, he kind of ran with our money," she replied.

Bares says she eventually had to hire another installer to get the job done.

So 3 On Your Side got involved and we discovered Shepherd has a rocky history.

In fact, he spent four years in prison for fraudulent schemes and theft related to ripping off people and was released in 2016.

"Well, I'll tell you what. He's good at what he does because he can scam people really well," Mrs. Bares said.

3 On Your Side forwarded all the information we had gathered, including copies of checks and invoices to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and asked them to investigate.

They did and after making contact with Shepherd, the convicted felon returned $500 back to George and then promised 3 On Your side to return $700 back to Bares.

She says he better, because that's money she and her husband really need.

“Are you in the business of handing out $700 willy-nilly like that?" Harper asked.

"No, not with both of us being retired. We saved a long time to put the flooring down, so,” she said.

Shepherd tells 3 On Your Side that he never returned to do the two jobs because he was ill and in-and-out of the hospital. And although Shepherd returned money back to Stone, he also promised to make good on that $700 refund to the Bares.

Unfortunately, though, he failed to show for the two appointments he scheduled to return the money.

3 On Your Side will stay on top of this one and we’ll let you know if Shepherd comes through with the money.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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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