More homeowners say fake Gilbert contractor vanished with their money
Fake contractor says, “I’m in the wrong.”
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Wanda Lee has one of the best-looking front yards on the block. Well, at least she did. Now, she says her front yard is an eyesore with 12 metal posts sticking out of the ground surrounding her property. “He put these posts up and he tore up the yard. And that’s all he’s done,” Lee told On Your Side as she showed us her front yard.
She is talking about a fake contractor named Raymond Dean. He runs a business called Humble Fence. Unfortunately, Lee gave Humble Fence and Dean two checks totaling $4,500 as a down payment to install a wrought iron fence around her front yard. That was way back in July of last year. At that time, Lee took photos showing Dean left her yard a mess and abandoned the project after pocketing her $4,500.
He never returned, but Lee says he sure had a lot of excuses. “My feet hurt, my legs are swollen, I’m having back problems, I have pneumonia, I think I had a heart attack,” she said, recounting all the ridiculous excuses Dean gave her.
If Humble Fence and Raymond Dean sound familiar, that’s because On Your Side exposed his penchant for taking people’s money in a recent news report where victims, like Reverend Clyde Bowen, explained they were ripped off by Dean after hiring and paying him to install fencing.
After that report aired, other victims like Lee reached out to On Your Side, saying they were also victims of Dean. “And then you find out that it’s just not me. He took money from other people, and it’s just not right,” Lee said.
We tracked down Dean to the Gilbert home he rents. “Is Ray here?” On Your Side’s Gary Harper asked when a family member answered the front door. They replied, “no,” and we left our business card for him to call. A few minutes after we left, Dean called, saying, “What it sounds like to me is that you’re trying to make me out to look like a super bad guy,” he said. On Your Side’s Harper quickly replied, “No, you’re doing that on your own.”
Harper told the fake contractor about the number of other viewers who contacted On Your Side, claiming he took their money for fencing jobs and disappeared. “What about Wanda Lee?” Harper asked Dean. He replied, “I don’t know who Wanda Lee is.” We have copies of those two checks for $4,500 signed by Lee. Still, Dean had a memory problem about cashing those checks.
Turns out, his short-term memory couldn’t recall many of the people who say they gave him money. “What about Angelica Fuentes?” Harper asked. Again, Dean replied, “I don’t know an Angelica Fuentes.” Harper said, “Oh, my gosh! You took a lot of money from her for a job too.”
Then, after a few minutes on the phone, Dean finally came clean and said, “I got nothing. I know that I dropped the ball. I’m in the wrong. I know I’m in the wrong. And I know I let people down and I’m sorry. And I’m apologetic.”
Lee says she’s heard it all now. Instead of apologies and excuses, she and others want their money returned. “I know what he is now. He’s a con man,” she said of Dean. “I really don’t expect to get my money back. But if there’s some way to lock him up and put him in jail for a while, I’ll be happy.”
It should be noted that this fake contractor is under investigation by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
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