MODESTO (CBS13) – A retired police officer said more than a year after hiring a pool contractor, all he has is a hole in the ground.
"We always had a dream to put a pool in our backyard," said Tom Messier, the retired officer and grandpa.
He says the hole in the ground where he expected a pool by now cost him $59,000.
"We saved for 15 years to put a pool in our backyard," he said. "This is financial elder abuse."
Melonie and Victor Schultz in Jackson were also left with a backyard hole after paying the same company—Central Valley Fiberglass Pool Co. in Modesto—$10,000.
"I just feel taken advantage of and disappointed," Melonie Shultz said.
We've learned the Contractor State Licensing Board has now suspended the company's license to operate and is investigating it for abandonment, requesting more money than work complete, grand theft and embezzlement.
"I want him stopped," Messier said.
The company never returned our calls. Its business phone numbers are now out of service. But the owner did text both homeowners with excuses like "a stall on manufacturing," "I've been off balance," and "I am in the middle of a nasty, messed up divorce."
Both the Shultzes and the Messiers have filed claims against the contractor's bond. But contractors are only required to hold a $15,000 bond, and his policy is now canceled, which means they may have to take the company to court.
"He just doesn't realize what he's—he's ruined people's lives," Messier said.
If the company files for bankruptcy, chances are they'll only collect pennies on the dollar. The Contractors State License Board is working with lawmakers to raise that required bond from $15,000 to $25,000—which is still not enough to cover these victim's losses.
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