More Triangle homeowners claim unlicensed contractor didn't finish jobs

New details have emerged in an I-Team Troubleshooter investigation involving Jorge Garcia, an unlicensed contractor. More homeowners are saying they have been left with unfinished projects after hiring Garcia.

These complaints come after our previous investigation in January where two different homeowners said Garcia took more than $300,000 for their two jobs he was not licensed to do. During that investigation, Garcia admitted to not being licensed and vowing he would make it right.

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Homeowners across the Triangle say they are out hundreds of thousands of dollars and an unlicensed contractor is the man to blame for running off with their cash.



After seeing that story, former and current customers of Garcia said they've heard that before and are still waiting for Garcia to make it right.

Durham homeowners Maureen and Steve Craun said they are all too familiar with Garcia. "Somebody has to stop him from doing it. This has been going for years," Maureen said.

The Crauns hired Garcia in 2015 for what they said was supposed to just be painting the trim around their home.

She said once Garcia got to their house, he claimed there were many problems with their home. Maureen said, "He said, 'You have rotten wood everywhere, everywhere,' I'm like really show me the rotten wood. He's like, 'It's all up there you're going to have to cut the trusses.'"

The Crauns claim they paid Garcia $44,000 for several jobs to get done. Her husband Steve said when the crew for Garcia showed up to start the job, they were not prepared. "Didn't have a shovel or a ladder I had to lend them both before they started the job," Steve said.



The Crauns said the work that was completed was done with shoddy materials. Maureen added, "My roof was destroyed, we had water coming in." She said they told Garcia to stop working. "You don't have a licensed, you don't have permits, stop all work," Maureen said.

She said to make it right Garcia gave them two checks, but when they went to the bank both checks bounced due to non-sufficient funds.

A worthless check charge was filed against Garcia but when she went to court, Maureen said the Durham Assistant District Attorney at the time dismissed the charge.

Maureen said, "I go to the Durham court system and it's no help."

Since court, she said Garcia has slowly been paying her back. "I have to text him, pester him, and he will come and pay me $200 at a time and we are talking about thousands of dollars owed," Maureen said.

Maureen said Garcia still owes them $13,000. She said after my story on Garcia, he has reached out to her several times and assures her he will continue to make payments to her.

"Yes I would like my money back, who wouldn't want their money back, this is thousands of dollars.The main thing I would like to see is that something happens so that this stops. Something has to stop him from doing this to other people," she said.

I've heard from at least six more homeowners who said Garcia also owes them money for work he was paid to do but didn't finish. One Durham homeowner provided this IOU.



She said in May of 2018, Garcia wrote her the IOU that stated he owed her $7,000 for work that he never finished on her home and that he'd pay back in two weeks. She's still waiting for the full payment. She claimed he's only paid $800 of the $7,000.

Another one of Garcia's customers provided a repayment list after she said the work she contracted with Garcia never got finished on her Morrisville home. In March of 2017, she said Gracia started paying her back, but she said payments stopped in 2018 and she's still owed thousands as well. She claimed Garcia has paid her back $11,000 of the $21,000 owed.

I also heard from two senior citizen couples who said they paid Garcia more than $100,000 to do work on their homes, and they claim to this day he still hasn't finished the work. They both claim Garcia has made them countless promises to finish the work, but that still hasn't happened. Garcia is not licensed by the state to do any work over $30,000.

As for Garcia, he has previously told me he is working to make it right with the homeowners that are owed money.

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ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson confronts an unlicensed contractor who is accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Triangle homeowners.



When I reached out to him about these latest complaints, he said he didn't have time to talk to me, and to talk to his attorney. His attorney said he does not comment to the media when it comes to his clients.

Durham Police and the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors all told me they are still investigating.

In North Carolina, contractors must be licensed to do any work valued at more than $30,000.

You can check a contractor's license status on this website.

On that website, you can also file a complaint if a contractor is not licensed.
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