3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - Jon Edwards admits he and his neighbors aren't exactly proud of how his Fountain Hills property looks.
"My neighbors aren't happy with me, and I'm not happy making my neighbors unhappy," Edwards told 3 On Your Side as he walked us around the outside of his home.
They're not happy because the guy he hired more than a year ago to add on an RV garage to his home abandoned the job.
"He seemed very good when he came over, and we had a pretty good meeting he wanted to start right away," Edwards said.
He's talking about a fake contractor by the name of John Lawson. According to the homeowner, Lawson claimed to be a licensed contractor.
So, Edwards says he felt somewhat comfortable handing over numerous payments to Lawson to get the project started.
When it was all said and done, those payments totaled almost $70,000, which is nearly the entire cost of the $73,000 project.
But Lawson took all that money, started the job, and then vanished.
"He stopped showing up and doing jobs. He would do tiny little jobs like move some material and claim that was a big job, and then finally about January, everything stopped," Edwards said.
So, 3 On Your Side got involved. We discovered Lawson is an ex-convict who did prison time for theft. Not only that, he was recently convicted again for an identical charge.
And finally, we found out he lied because he's not licensed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors as he said. Instead, Lawson reportedly pretended to be a legitimate contractor by using another company's license number.
"I have an unfinished garage that only has walls," Edwards said.
3 On Your Side went to a few addresses Lawson was believed to be associated with, but couldn't find him. However, we finally reached him on the phone.
"He,y John. This is Gary Harper. I'm with 3 On Your Side," Harper said when Lawson answered.
We had a lot of questions, and Lawson had some clever answers.
"Why did you stop showing up?" Harper immediately asked Lawson.
"He told me not to. He told he didn't want me there," Lawson replied.
"Well, why would he do that?" Harper responded.
"Because he told he wanted to finish the job himself," Lawson said.
But Edwards says that's ridiculous. Why would he hand over $70,000 and tell Lawson to stop showing up?
Edwards says he feels awful knowing he was taken advantage of and misled by an ex-con.
"I have restless nights, lots of stress. I finally accepted that it's on me now and we're trying to get the funds together to get this thing finished," Edwards said.
A complaint has been filed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. When there's an update regarding this matter, 3 On Your Side will air an update.