“Fake architect” fails to return money as promised to Gilbert man

Businessman says he was duped out of $28,000
Ivo Badilla said he would begin paying Jeremy Jones back by starting a payment plan, but Jones says Badilla failed to make good on his word.
Updated: Sep. 6, 2022 at 5:45 PM MST
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GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Jeremy Jones says he doesn’t have anything nice to say about this guy, Ivo Badilla. “It just turns out to be lies. Just like everything else we’ve experienced with him,” a frustrated Jeremy told On Your Side.

Badilla is a fake architect who promised On Your Side that he would return the money he took from Jeremy and possibly others. Well, here’s the latest: he didn’t. “I don’t believe a word he says that comes out of his mouth or via text,” Jeremy said.

In a previous On Your Side report, Jeremy explained how he wanted to expand and build a bigger fitness center. So, Jeremy told us he hired Badilla, who reportedly portrayed himself as a licensed architect and claimed he could draw up plans that Jeremy could give to contractors. But that never happened. “So this is Ivo Badilla, the con artist himself,” Jeremy said as he showed an online picture of Badilla.

For $28,000, Jeremy says the only thing Badilla gave him were computer-generated pictures illustrating what the new facility center might look like. But then, the fake architect disappeared with all of Jeremy’s money. “I would say the lies and the deceit. Really just everything. Again, in my opinion, he’s really just a professional con artist,” said Jeremy.

On Your Side found out where Badilla lived, and we went to his apartment that he rents. But he had a doorbell camera and never answered, so I left a business card. That’s when Badilla emailed On Your Side, saying he would begin paying Jeremy back by starting a payment plan. It sounded good, but just like those drawings he promised, Badilla failed to make good on his word.

Since our first report, Jeremy says he has heard from at least a half dozen other victims who contacted him saying Badilla pulled the same stunt with them. “It’s close to $100,000 [that he took] from specific people we know of and have heard of. I can only imagine that there are so many more out there,” he explained.

Many victims tell On Your Side that they have filed complaints with the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration, who regulates architects and investigates fake ones. We feel there will be a follow-up soon, and we’ll let you know when there is.