The News 4 Tucson Investigators have been pursuing an illegal contractor who's allegedly scammed several people out of thousands of dollars in cash.
Omar Mendivil of Adobe Home Renovations has proven elusive, but his alleged victims were easy to find.
A bad flood ruined Amanda Vidal's tile floors last fall. That's when she met Mendivil. Everything seemed fine – at first.
“He came, talked to me and was explaining what he was going to be doing and what I wanted to be done and you know, what kind of tile I wanted,” Vidal said.
Instead, she was left short more than $3,000 and now Vidal is struggling to come up with the funds for a new contractor who is slowly working on the unfinished job as she piecemeals the money together. Her home is covered in half lain tile, with scattered pieces lying about, disjointed grout, and entire missing sections of exposed bare concrete.
“He didn't put nothing. He only took the flooring apart and that was it,” she said.
Vidal says Mendivil appeared to be an honest small businessman, running his company, Adobe Home Renovations. He even showed her pictures of his previous projects.
“I decided, you know, well, he sounds good, he'll have everything done within so much time,” Vidal said.
Then he asked for the $3,000 in cash. She wrote him a check. He cashed it the next day. Then he disappeared and started ignoring her calls.
“So finally I found another number and he answered and I said, ‘I want to talk to you, you need to come over here.’ So December third, he comes with a little tube that he was going to patch up the cracks and that was the end of seeing him,” she said.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators went to Mendivil's listed business address in Marana. Nobody answered the door but someone inside shuttered the blinds after we knocked.
We called one of his many phone numbers. Finally, Mendivil spoke with a News 4 Tucson investigative producer and told us Adobe Home Renovations is out of business. He also said he is working for a local real estate investor but would not state whom. He hung up when we asked him about the people like Vidal whom he owes money to. Vidal isn't alone.
“In the past three months, we've gotten three complaints for Adobe Home Renovations. This has given them an F-rating because they have not responded to these complaints. The complaints range from someone paid him upfront so much money and he never came out at all and a couple of the other ones, he started the work but he was doing a bad job and they weren't satisfied with the quality,” said Ryan Foster, spokesman for the Better Business Bureau.
We also went to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors who sent us this statement:
“ROC recently received three cases against Omar Mendivil who appears to use Adobe Home Renovations as the name of his business. Mendivil is not a licensed contractor, however and ROC is actively investigating each of the allegations."
“You want to make sure you do your research, go online, find reputable contractors, ask your friends and family who've had work done as well,” the BBB’s Foster suggests.
The entire situation has frustrated Vidal.
“The government hasn't done much, I wish they would get to work and really get him because I'm not going to stop until I get a hold of him.”
We'll keep you updated on the ROC's case against Mendivil. If you have a tip for the News 4 Tucson Investigators, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 955-4444.