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Homeowners say contractor didn't finish jobs

February 15, 2013 8:17:32 PM PST
Some homeowners were looking to renovate their homes and found what they thought was the perfect contractor to get the job done.

Now they claim that contractor swindled them out of tens of thousands of dollars without finishing the work.

And this isn't the first time he's accused of running the scam.

"How much?" Eyewitness News Investigative Reporter Jim Hoffer asked.

"$38,000," said Carmen Grant, a Laurelton, Queens resident.

That's how much money Carmen Grant gave to a contractor to renovate her kitchen.

"Most contractors complete their job," Hoffer said.

"No, he did not complete his job. He left with my money and never came back," Grant said.

"Hi Mr. Kipp, Jim Hoffer Channel 7 we want to ask you some questions about the work you've been doing, Hoffer said.

"What work?" asked Alvin Kipp, the contractor.

"That's a good question actually, some of the work you haven't been doing," Hoffer said.

Alvin Kipp, the contractor who left Ms. Grant with an unfinished kitchen, told Eyewitness News he never met her. He also says he didn't know LaLisa Scudder.

"LaLisa Scudder gave you $90,000 but you walked away from her project," Hoffer said.

"What are you talking about?" Kipp said.

"This is the work that the contractor had started and this is the way he left me," Scudder said.

"This is dangerous?" Hoffer asked.

"Very dangerous," Scudder said.

Ms. Scudder hired Kipp to "completely renovate her two family home".

He gutted the house, put up studs and then disappeared, but not, she says, before taking $90,000.

"How do you sleep at night, doing this to people over and over and over again? You're a con artist and you have to be stopped," Scudder said.

Both Ms. Scudder and Ms. Grant contacted the city's Department of Consumer Affairs but Kipp is still at work.

Eyewitness News spotted him heading off to another job in a van filled with workers.

But not before Eyewitness News tried to get some answers about the way he conducts business.

"Is that how you operate, you take the money but then," Hoffer started to ask.

"You push the camera in my face," Kipp said.

"Why don't you talk to us sir? Why are you running from us?" Hoffer asked.

"You've seen stories like this over and over?" Hoffer asked Scudder.

"Yes, Yes," Scudder said.

"They always tell you, protect yourself," Hoffer said.

"Yes," Scudder said.

"Was he licensed?" Hoffer asked.

"Now, I find out that he was not licensed," Scudder said.

They say the contractor showed him his license. Had they checked with Consumer Affairs they would have saved themselves a lot of misery and money.

"I trusted him and he told me that he wouldn't do anything to me that he wouldn't do to his own grandmother," Grant said.

"I trusted him and this is the way he left me," Scudder said.

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If you have a tip about this or any other issue you'd like investigated, please give our tipline a call at 877-TIP-NEWS. You may also e-mail us at the.investigators@abc.com.

Follow Jim Hoffer on Twitter at twitter.com/nycinvestigates and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimhoffer.wabc

Follow Sarah Wallace on Twitter at twitter.com/sarahwallacetv and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sarahwallace.wabc

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