ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - David Levy says the red flags began showing with his contractor after he made an unusual request.
"When they told me if I wanted to have the work done, I was going to need to have some additional money, because they had crews sitting around but they'd used my money to finish someone else's job," said Levy.
He says he hired Shane Slaven, the owner of Home Improvement Select, in 2016 to re-do his basement shower.
Levy says after he paid his $1,000 deposit, Slaven ghosted him.
"I never been defrauded before in my life," says Levy.
News 4 Investigates reported in 2017 that Slaven was accused of stealing thousands from St. Louis area customers.
Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt says Slaven’s thievery has caught up with him. Schmitt’s office has filed criminal charges against Slaven for allegedly deceiving homeowners.
Court documents say Slaven has taken thousands of dollars from homeowners in St. Louis, St. Charles, Lincoln, and Jefferson Counties.
News 4 went to Slaven’s to get his side of the story but a family member told me he wasn’t home. He is currently out on bail.
However, two years ago, Slaven told News 4 he’s had to file for bankruptcy and that his business partner made bad decisions leading to company problems.
With new charges against him, the Missouri Attorney General is blocking Slaven from doing contractual work
The Attorney General urges consumers to do the following steps before hiring a contractor:
- Get everything in writing. Thoroughly review your contract. Know the start and end date.
- Research the company before you sign a contract. Get all their contact information.
- Beware of anyone who looks or acts unprofessional or offers to save you money by using materials left over from another job. Storm chasers are very common after disasters.
- Obtain at least 2-3 estimates
- Never pay in cash
- Get receipts for materials
- Make sure your insurance company is working with you to provide the proper estimate and coverage under your policy.
If consumers feel that they have been scammed or defrauded, Schmitt's office urges you to file a complaint by contacting their Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or by heading to ago.mo.gov.