TUCSON (KVOA) - For three months, the News 4 Tucson Investigators have been looking into customer complaints against Imperial Pools & Design LLC. and its owner Patrick Crone.
Crone is unlicensed after a series of complaints from customers, many who say they spent tens of thousands of dollars for work that was never completed. The Arizona Registrar of Contractors revoked Crone’s General Contractor’s license last month after revoking his KA6 Dual Pool Contractor’s License a few weeks earlier.
According to the ROC’s website database, Crone has five active complaints against his GC license and two complaints that resulted in disciplinary action. His KA6 Dual Pool license has 18 active cases and 25 cases that resulted in disciplinary action, as well as 10 resolved complaints. So there are at least 50 customers who have filed complaints with the ROC between his two former licenses.
The N4T Investigators have heard from customer after customer, each with their own story of how they say Crone was paid thousands of dollars to do work that was never completed. Many customers still have collapsing holes in their backyards.
“We gave him money to do a job he didn’t do it, in my book that’s theft,” said former customer Tom O’Leary.
The N4T Investigators have spent more than a month tracking down more than a dozen former employees and sub-contractors who have done work for Imperial Pools. A couple of the people we spoke to had nothing bad to say, while all the others each had similar stories of paychecks bouncing and in some cases being owed thousands of dollars.
“Can’t pay his bills, does not follow through on his contracts,” one sub-contractor who does not want to be identified said about Crone.
That sub-contractor said he is owed more than $3,500 for a job he did for Crone.
“It is a lot of work trying to chase him down, trying to get phone numbers, which they won't answer, leaving hundreds of voicemails to the point where it’s like you’re ready to give up but you can’t with that kind of money,” he said.
Everyone else the N4T Investigators spoke to did not want to go on camera in fear of retribution from Crone or others in Tucson’s pool industry. The sub-contractor said even though Tucson is a big town, word spreads fast within its close-knit pool industry.
In the middle of our investigation in September, we received the following email from Patrick’s wife Alyssa Crone who is the Chief Financial Officer for Imperial Pools.
“We hear you are now trying to contact former employees. Please know that everyone who has ever worked for us signed confidentiality agreements that are still intact after employment and by trying to get yet another story to hurt us, you will be asking them to break that contract and open the door for us to sue them for 1.5x the salary we paid them.”
The N4T Investigators found Crone’s former landlord Ann Diaz, owner of Arizona 1st Reality Management, who owns the property where Imperial Pools showroom used to be until Diaz had to evict them in July.
“He never paid his rent on time, there was not one time we received the rent check in a timely manner,” Diaz said.
She said they had at least four checks bounce and are still owed $11,000 and the property she said was left a mess.
Imperial Pools received a $131,616 federal PPP loan in May, a time when Diaz said she was having issues getting paid.
“I don’t know how you could get an influx of $131,000 and I still have to ask if it’s okay to cash a $4,000 check,” Diaz said.
She said her company is considering legal action and has handed the case to their attorney, but she admits she does not expect to ever see the money they are owed. A sentiment that echoes what many of his former customers are going through.
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