Avondale couple says fake contractor took off with $5,000 and never returned

Other homeowners have same complaints
Mike and Margo Baca say the fake contractor took $5,000 to install fire pits and travertine.
Updated: Jan. 4, 2023 at 5:30 PM MST
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AVONDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- It was supposed to be a simple knock on the door at a home rented by a fake contractor. But that knock wound up getting Buckeye police dispatched to the scene. To understand why, you first have to meet Mike and Margo Baca. “OK, right here was supposed to be our little fire pit,” Mike Baca told On Your Side as he showed us gas lines.

The Bacas tell On Your Side that they had big plans for their backyard in Avondale. A licensed pool company recently finished building the couple’s pool and the Bacas started looking for a company to do some finishing touches, like installing some gas fire pits along with putting some travertine in different areas.

So, way back in August, they hired a company called Territory 48 to do the job. “This is Angel Perez, and he’s the owner of T-48 or Territory 48,” Margo Baca said as she showed On Your Side a picture.

The Bacas say the smiling fake contractor took $5,000 to install those fire pits and travertine. But, after taking the money, good ‘ol Perez vanished with the Bacas’ money. “He has your money and yet he hasn’t done any work?” On Your Side’s Gary Harper asked. “No, absolutely not a thing,” Margo Baca replied. “When you try to call or text him, what happens?” Harper asked. “It goes straight to voicemail and we don’t hear anything. He’s avoiding us,” Margo Baca said.

Margo says the one time she did get through several months ago, she spoke to Arica Perez, Angel’s wife, who reportedly made empty promises about returning the Bacas’ money. “They know, they now have our money and they’re not giving it back. And I think, I think that’s just not good people. That’s not good business,” Margo said.

On Your Side got involved and when Angel and Arica Perez failed to return On Your Side’s calls, we went to their Buckeye home that they rent. And that takes us back to that door knock. The Perezes were home but never answered. However, they sure were quick to call the Buckeye Police Department, who showed up. And that’s when Arica Perez finally opened up. “I’m pressing charges for defamation of business and character,” she said.

Unimpressed, officers wound up leaving after On Your Side explained why we were there. And it turns out our door knock wasn’t a waste of time. A few days later, the fake contractor and his wife returned $2,000 to the Bacas.

On Your Side is now waiting to see if the remaining $3,000 is returned as well. “I would like to see some resolution,” Margo said. “And for him to be a good person and just give us back the money that is not rightfully his.”

Other victims have filed complaints against Territory 48. And after our involvement, the fake contractor returned all the money. As for the viewers in this On Your Side report, I’ll let you know in a follow-up report if they got their remaining $3,000.