St. Louis homeowner accuses contractor of taking $30,000 for an - KMOV.com

St. Louis homeowner accuses contractor of taking $30,000 for an unfinished job

Posted: Updated:
Valerie Mims-Shaw left with an unfinished kitchen after paying contractor, Lester Greenleaf $30,000 (Credit: KMOV) Valerie Mims-Shaw left with an unfinished kitchen after paying contractor, Lester Greenleaf $30,000 (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A homeowner is left with a mess of kitchen after paying a contractor thousands of dollars without doing hardly any work.

In 2014, Valerie Mims-Shaw hired contractor Lester Greenleaf to install a new kitchen and bathroom. In late 2015, she still had no kitchen and claims Mr. Greenleaf had long since stopped returning her calls.

Mims-Shaw claims she was taken advantage of by Greenleaf.

"Absolutely," said Mims-Shaw. "Absolutely and I thought he would have been a little more compassionate. Totally the opposite."

Mims-Shaw claims Greenleaf stopped answering her questions about the job. But when a family member contacted him to get a bid on another job, he agreed to show up.

When he did, News 4 Investigative Reporter Lauren Trager was there with a camera crew. 

Trager asked a man in a pickup truck, "Sir, are you Lester Greenleaf?"

"No," the man replied.

Trager continued, "You're not Mr. Greenleaf? Do you know where Mr. Greenleaf is?"

The man in the truck said he did not and he drove off.

Trager tried several times to contact Mr. Greenleaf through the winter months, with no luck.

Finally, on February 24, several months after Trager first began investigating the complaint, Greenleaf answered his phone and spoke with her.

He admitted to Trager that he was indeed the man in the truck who said he was not Lester Greenleaf.

He said that he did do $30,000 worth of work on the house. He claimed to have invoices and photos to document the work.

Valerie and her family say they disagree.

Before considering hiring a contractor, be very careful about paying money up-front. It is always best to pay when the work has been completed and approved.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Watch News 4 Now

Mouse over player for controls · LAUNCH FULL PLAYER

Powered by Frankly