Queen Creek Couple Lose $4,750 Cash To Fake Contractor

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QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Juan Hernandez says his favorite room in the house is the kitchen. “Whoa, we’ve got some good chicken,” Juan says pointing to 3 On Your Side cooking dinner. Simply put, Hernandez loves to cook. But what he doesn’t like is watching his broken down kitchen cabinets. Even its drawers need to be replaced. “Oh, this one is bad. This drawer holds my utensils.

So Hernandez and his wife worked hard and saved enough money to remove the old cabinets and replace them with something new. And they found a guy who bragged about being the best contractor for the job.

“Who did you hire to do the cabinets?” asked Gary Harper of 3 On Your Side. “A guy named David Smeal,” he said.

And David Smeal? He’s a fake entrepreneur who likes to post pictures of himself online. But he apparently doesn’t like installing cabinets because he charged Hernandez over $4,750 to start the cabinet job and never came back.

“I paid him everything in cash,” Hernandez said, shaking his head. “I paid $4,750.”

Hernandez asks Smeal to return his hard-earned money for six months, but Hernandez says Smeal never answers his phone and he doesn’t know where he lives. But 3 On Your Side found out he was living in Mesa. We rang the doorbell several times, but Smeal never came to the door. However, after Harper left his business card, Smeal called to discuss the $4,750 he had taken from Hernandez.

“What did you do with the money?” Harper asked. “Life kind of ate it up. Like I said, business was bad. We all got COVID. We all got sick and had to pay our bills,” Smeal said.

“So, as they say, you robbed Peter to pay Paul?” Harper asked. “Pretty much,” Smeal said, seemingly proud of what he had done.

And if it’s not bad enough, it gets worse. Smeal said he had to drop the call because he was on a trip. “A road trip? Harper asked shockingly. “I guess business isn’t too bad if you take a road trip. I hope you are joking? Harper asked.

“No,” Smeal said. “I guess you don’t know all the facts, so keep assuming whatever you want.”

David Smeal went on to say that he would do his best to return the $4,750, and he never even apologized. “It’s too bad. I don’t know how you sleep at night,” Harper told Smeal. “Try melatonin,” Smeal chuckled. “It helps.”

As for Hernandez, he says taking his family’s money and the ghost like Smeal did is no laughing matter. “That money goes a long way. We could do so much with it. We have three kids. And we work on our house when we have a little extra. And now that little extra is gone,” Hernandez said.

A complaint has been filed with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. 3 On Your Side will let you know what’s going on in a follow-up report.

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