Scottsdale man hires fake contractor for $150K remodeling job
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- When Jim Dornfeld purchased this Scottsdale home last year, he had big plans for remodeling it. “We wanted to get new floors, new cabinets, new bathrooms, and so on,” Jim told 3 On Your Side as he showed us around the home.
So, when he hired a guy named Don Libby to fix a small leak in the house, Jim says Don Libby convinced him he was licensed and could do a lot more than fix leaks. Libby reportedly claimed he could do Jim’s entire remodeling job. “He said, ‘Hey, I can do that. I have the skills and the contacts. Let me help you get this done,’” Jim says he remembers Libby saying.
According to Jim, he wound up hiring Libby, who instructed Jim to send money electronically to his wife, not him. Jim says sending money to someone else felt a little weird, but he agreed, and Jim forwarded close to $150,000 over several months. “Oh yea, we very much trusted him at the beginning,” Jim explained.
Jim claims that for all that money, Libby provided about $70,000 in labor and material over five months. However, Jim says the workmanship was shoddy, and Libby eventually stopped showing up.
So, Jim Googled Libby and up popped a 3 On Your Side report he couldn’t believe. “Hi, I’m Gary Harper from 3 On Your Side,” Harper said as he confronted Libby back in 2016. “You have a couple of warrants out for your arrest.”
It turns out 3 On Your Side has confronted and aired several reports in the past years regarding Libby, specifically for taking money, performing subpar work, and then disappearing with people’s money.
At one time, he even landed on the Arizona Registrar of Contractors’ Most Wanted List as a fake contractor. “You seem to keep ripping off people and getting into trouble,” Harper told Libby. “Uh, I haven’t been ripping off anyone lately or anything,” Libby replied at the time.
So, I tried to catch up with Libby again by going to his home. I wanted to talk to him regarding Jim Dornfeld’s remodeling job, but no one answered.
However, Libby called me back saying he works for an out-of-state remodeling company run by not his wife but a woman out of Florida and that he’s her employee here in Arizona. He went on to say Jim’s remodeling job was going fine until his history came out. “Well, they found out about my past, and I think they then brought in some other people (to remodel). “I think they thought they were going to take me to the cleaners,” Libby said.
The Registrar of Contractors confirms to 3 On Your Side they are investigating Libby once again. As for Jim, he says he can’t believe Libby is back to his old tricks and that he’s now another one of his victims. “It tells me we have a real, flawed system, and there needs to be some way that people like me can know about these people.”
I’ll let you know what happens in a follow-up report. Before you ever hire a contractor, make sure they are licensed and legitimate by checking with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. You can do that by going to this link to check them out at roc.force.com.
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