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KUTV.com | Stories - Prepaid Contractor Walks Off Job
Wednesday, April 23 2014, 09:23 AM MDT
Prepaid Contractor Walks Off Job
Reported by Matt Gephardt
Produced by Cindy St. Clair

(KUTV)Melanie Hess' yard is a mess. It is a $2,300 maze of open trenches.

In October, Melanie hired All Things Landscaping to install sprinklers. Owner Malcolm Smith said it would be a quick job.

He said it would take 2 to 3 days to do the job," Melanie said.

But
after more than three months, the job is still not completed. Melanie
says she has begged Smith to return and finish the job but he responds
angrily.

"He got mad and said, following up with me constantly isn't going to get your job done any faster," Melanie said Smith told her.

After three months, Melanie decided to Get Gephardt.

Get Gephardt began investigating first by contacting Smith. Despite numerous efforts, we were unsuccessful in reaching him.

Digging
deeper, Get Gephardt took the case to the Utah Department of Commerce.
Turns out, state officials dont know anything about Smith or his
company. According to state records, Malcolm Smith is not a registered
contractor in the state of Utah and All Things Landscaping is not
registered to do business in Utah. Any work done by the company was done
in violation of state law.

Commerce spokesperson Jennifer Bolton
says Melanie should file a complaint with the Utah Division of
Occupational and Professional Licensing and they will investigate and
could take administrative action.

Those administrative actions
could vary from a fine, a suspension of license, or revocation of
license depending on DOPL's investigation findings, Bolton said. DOPL
also actively works with law enforcement partners to see if the case
merits criminal charges. DOPL would then turn over their case
information to that coordinating city or county law enforcement entity
to pursue criminal charges.
Bolton also warns that cases like Melanies are often civil, and the court system could be a victims most effective remedy.

Melanie has since filed a complaint against Smith with DOPL in the hopes of getting her money back.

If you have concerns, visit dopl.utah.gov to check the legitimacy of a business.

(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)Prepaid Contractor Walks Off Job

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