Last spring, Gilbert, Arizona homeowner Gaylynn Heyd was defrauded by a phony landscape contractor named Brent Ford. And she’s still mad at him.
According to a story published in azfamily.com, Heyd handed over more than $16,500 to Ford back in March so he could landscape the front and back yard of her then-brand-new home. But after doing very little work, he vanished with the money.
She wasn’t the only one who was victimized by this man. Now, the Arizona Attorney General's Office is doing something about it. The agency recently filed a lawsuit alleging that Ford violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.
The suit document states that Ford targeted newly constructed homes with unfinished landscaping, taking up-front payments from consumers with no intention of providing the promised services. The AG’s office believes that he made off with at least $89,000 from homeowners.
The suit papers go on to say that "Ford engaged in deception, deceptive or unfair acts or practices, fraud and false pretense." The document also lists some of the frequent excuses he used for not completing work. They include: "he had high blood pressure, he had double flat tires, his nephew broke his leg or he was on another job."
"It makes me really angry about it,” says Heyd. “It makes me so upset that someone would do this to multiple people. Someone has to stop him. You just can't let someone like this go around doing this to people. And, I know that it's more than that because there are other people who didn't come forward.”
The attorney general is asking the court to issue an order "permanently prohibiting Ford from engaging in the trade or occupation of landscape construction." The AG’s office also wants him to "restore to all persons any money,” and is asking to penalize him $10,000 for every violation.
That’s not quite enough for Heyd, however. “I would love to see him in jail,” she says, I would love that."