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Landscaper steps in to fill hole left behind by pool contractor accused of unfinished work

Landscaper helps family promised a pool
Landscaper helps family promised a pool 02:21

MINNEAPOLIS -- A local landscaper stepped in to help after seeing a WCCO investigation into a contractor who promised families a pool but didn't finish the work. 

WCCO showed you the Swearengin's backyard in Prior Lake. The family paid $80,000 for a pool and were left with a gaping hole behind their home - until a landscaper saw their plight. His action restored much more than their yard.

The Swearengin's backyard looks better than it has in months.

"It looks great. I'm more blown away by the heart of these people," Steve Swearengin said.

You see, about two weeks ago, WCCO highlighted the mess left behind from an unfinished pool project. A day later, landscaper Mike Funk-Anderson reached out to them.

"I said 'hey if you need any help putting the yard back together,' and it kind of went from there," Funk-Anderson said.

Mike lives in the community and owns Stonewood Hardscapes and Design.

"He saw that there was an issue and he had the skillset to do something about it," Steve Swearengin said.

Over a number of days, Mike and his team filled in the huge hole. They put the yard back together, fixing the irrigation system, adding landscaping, and hydroseed to grow the grass. All free of charge.

"It's not too much of a big deal to give back and donate some of our time, " Funk-Anderson said.

He was reluctant to share his role in all of this.

"If we can be of service to other people, that's kind of my goal in life. It tends to work out pretty good if you treat others the way you want to be treated," Funk-Anderson said.

He and his team did more than restore the backyard.

"Kind of just restored trust in people too," Heather Swearengin said.

Heather and Steve Swearengin say they've prayed about the situation, and their family continues to find purpose along the way.

"To show them that good things can come out of bad situations too," Heather Swearengin said.

Funk-Anderson is trying to rally the landscaping community, and is talking with vendors, to try to help more families.

Following WCCO's investigation into more than a dozen families with unfinished work, the Attorney General's Office launched an investigation into pool contractor Charles Workman. If you suspect fraud, it wants to hear from you.

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