MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Tracie Carmel says thanks to 3 On Your Side, she has at least some of her money back.

"Had we not shared our story with 3 On Your Side, we would probably still be out all that money," Carmel said.

Two weeks ago, Carmel explained how she hired a couple by the name of Jason Moore and Cindy Espaderos to do a backyard makeover.

Mesa couple says unlicensed company took $5,200 and abandoned backyard project

"Did they seem knowledgeable?" 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper asked. "They did," she replied. "They had images of other projects that they had done."

At the time, the couple ran a company called HOA Landscaping, also known as Home Owners Approved Landscaping. Carmel gave the couple two payments totaling $5,200 to start the remodeling job. But after doing very little work, the couple kept the money and stopped showing up. That's when Carmel contacted 3 On Your Side.

"I would love for 3 On Your Side to expose these individuals and not allow them to work," Carmel said.

It turns out, Jason Moore and Cindy Espaderos are not licensed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors as required by law. So, I asked the fake contractors to return the money they took from Carmel.

Unfinished landscape job at Mesa home

After all, they abandoned a job they were not even qualified or licensed to do. Instead, they wrote me an email saying, "For the news station and you to operate in a mafia-type way is disgusting!!

Following that email, we discovered the couple decided to move out of the home they were renting. And once we aired that news report, Carmel says the couple had a change of heart.

"Do you think the 3 On Your Side report helped?" Harper asked. "I do. I think it definitely helped. I think it was his family that reached out to him and encouraged him to do the right thing. So thank you for that."

Following that report, Carmel says the couple sent her $1,500 with an additional $500 for a total of two grand. They also promised to make good on the remaining balance by establishing a payment plan. Carmel says it only happened with the help of 3 On Your Side.

"I think 3 On Your Side really gave it that extra push in the right direction and for the right thing to happen."

Of course, 3 On Your Side will keep monitoring this situation and make sure those payments and remaining balances are made.


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