Contractor in Troubleshooter investigation charged after taking $10,500 from Cary couple

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- There are new details into a Troubleshooter investigation involving a contractor who took off with more than $10,500 from a Cary couple and never finished their job.

Robert Lecei, 40, was arrested Wednesday and charged with obtaining property by false pretense and failure to work after being paid. The charges relate to a job at Isabelle and Derek Unger's Cary home.

The Ungers paid Lecei $10,500 for a window-replacement job at their home. He gave them paperwork that shows he paid for the windows, but month after month, the job never got done.

Robert Lecei

Cary Police Department



It was a strange twist after the Troubleshooter had actually helped Lecei after he reached out in the summer of 2019 when he needed help getting a refund from a home improvement store. We went to work and got him the $7,400 he was owed.

However, when the Ungers saw the Troubleshooter story, they couldn't believe it, as it was the same man they said never did their job and owed them money.

Stay on top of consumer news and recalls with the ABC11 News App

The Troubleshooter got back in touch with Lecei and he insisted he was going to refund the couple their money. That didn't happen and instead, Cary Police got involved and charged Lecei for not doing the job.

The Ungers said they know they might never see any money from Lecei.

"We want to make sure that this doesn't happen to others," Isabelle Unger said. "It's frustrating that people you think will do their work, you know you provide money for services and think they are going to do it, and then at the end, you realize that you've been robbed."

Lecei's case will now work its way through the court system.

TROUBLESHOOTER TAKEAWAYS

Don't pay for a job up front, no matter what the contractor says.

If the contractor claims it's for materials, offer to go with him or order the materials yourself and pay for them. This way, you know it gets done.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.