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At bankruptcy hearing, former Window Depot owner tries to explain why he let customers down

Homeowners say they lost $20,000 in home remodeling scam
Homeowners say they lost $20,000 in home remodeling scam 03:06

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (CBS) -- "I did this. I own this. This is on me."

Those are the words of Dan Faught, the former owner of Window Depot USA of Chicago. He spoke for the first time during a bankruptcy hearing on Monday.

We have introduced you to a number of Window Depot of Chicago customers who say they company took deposits for repair jobs – but never did the work.

CBS 2's Charlie De Mar had the story Monday of another such customer – a disabled veteran in Crystal Lake who says the company took $20,000 from him.

The Stuarts call their Crystal Lake home the Critter Home – because there are holes all over allowing easy access for animals to get inside. They paid to have the holes fixed – but the work was never completed.

The owner of Window Depot says he recognizes that he let a lot of families down.

"It just irks me that there's a person out there that would take advantage of people like myself," said Roger Stuart.

Stuart is a Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War. His declining health has left him disabled – and his wife, Lornadee, takes care of him full time.

Lornadee Stuart says she remembers every cent they spent on the work on their house – "$19,251 - right down to the last dollar."

"Well, because I had to scrimp money from every account I had, and go short for groceries for the rest of the month in order to pay the deposit to get the work done," said Lornadee Stuart.

The Stuarts paid Faught about $20,000 to fix their crumbling siding on their home. But the work was never completed.

The Stuarts join a long and growing list of customers who say they were swindled.

"What kind of person sits here, looks you in the face, and sees your situation - and then still steals your money?" said Lornadee Stuart. "He delivered nothing. Absolutely nothing. He took the money and ran."

Faught has since filed for bankruptcy, and during a hearing Monday, he tried to explain what went wrong to customers who are out thousands.

Faught said in part: "The business essentially ran out of money. My sales team wasn't performing anywhere near they should have been. We had a very difficult time during COVID."

He continued: "We're an in-home sales company, and our primary source of marketing was home shows and those were gone for a year-and-a-half I understand I let everyone down, but it wasn't for a lack of effort."

The Stuarts said they are not satisfied with just a bankruptcy hearing for Faught.

"Here I am 82 years old, an invalid - and in this country, that should never happen," said Roger Stuart.

"I hope he gets something other than bankruptcy against him, like fraud," said Lornadee Stuart, "because this is pure theft."

During the hearing, Faught says he started to notice the business going south in the fall — and stopped returning phone calls, emails, and texts after conversations started to get hostile with some customers.

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