Contractor accused of taking money, not doing the work – CBS News
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local contractor is accused of taking money and never finishing jobs.
One family in Hampton is out nearly $2,000, and a family in Bethel Park is out more than $8,000. The victims said all they wanted were some retaining walls, but feel they hit a wall trying to get contractor John Fritzius to show up.
Nicolas Nulf paid $1,500 as a deposit and says all he has to show for it is “half a wall and lots of dirt and rock.” He’s one of two victims who called investigators to report Fritzius, who is now facing several felony charges.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller told Nulf the news about the charges Friday.
“I feel good about it,” said Nulf. “I guess, obviously, he took our money, and what we’re looking for is to get our money back.”
Nulf said he signed a contract for a $3,000 job, paying half upfront in cash.
“He said it was a minor job for him and he said he could get it done in a day or two and said he’d be back, and he never came back,” said Nulf.
According to the criminal complaint, the same thing happened to a family in Bethel Park. The complaint says the couple gave Fritzius $8,000. After Fritzius allegedly never did the work, the family started calling around and told people it discovered Fritzius never purchased the retaining wall materials.
The couple wasn’t home on Friday but found another contractor to do the job. Nulf said he grew tired of the excuses.
“Every week it was a different excuse,” he said.
He’s learned his lesson though, he told KDKA-TV.
“I’ll probably do a little bit more digging and research on their background before I hire anybody else,” said Nulf.
Here are a couple of tips: never pay cash, never pay a significant portion of the job upfront, verify the contractor is licensed and insured, and read reviews.