Worst Las Vegas Contractors of 2012
Blue Lagoon Pools | Boulder City
In March, a Clark County Eighth Judicial District Court judge convicted Blue Lagoon Pools owner Kelly Sagona of a gross misdemeanor after she pleaded guilty to diversion of funds. Several Las Vegas-area homeowners say they were left without completed swimming pools when Sagona failed to pay subcontractors for materials or services in connection with their pool construction, court records show.
The judge also ordered Sagona to pay $182,427 in restitution to the Nevada State Contractors Board Recovery Fund and serve 12 months in the Clark County Detention Center, but suspended the jail time on the condition she serves up to three years probation.
The conviction follows a yearlong investigation by the NSCB into complaints from 18 homeowners regarding Sagona’s work practices. At a final disciplinary hearing in September 2011, the NSCB found Blue Lagoon Pools guilty on 75 of 89 statutory violations, including failure to comply with the terms of a contract, deliberate disregard of the building laws and workmanship not up to industry standards. The board also revoked Sagona’s contractor’s license. Blue Lagoon Pools, which has a B rating on the List based on three reviews, is no longer in business and messages left with her two attorneys went unanswered.
Las Vegas resident Ryan Law, one of the 18 who complained to the NSCB, hired Sagona to build a pool at his home, and says he requested a detailed timeline of the project, as well as exchanged payment for a lien release from the subcontractors as they completed each portion. “I should’ve talked to the subcontractors beforehand about Kelly,” Law says. “There would have been all kinds of red flags had I done that.” He says he had paid Sagona about $11,000 and his pool was 40 percent complete when the NSCB suspended her license and work ceased. “She owed the subcontractors a lot of money,” Law says. “She even forged one of the lien releases she gave me.”
In Sagona’s most recent List review, a member complained of work so poorly done by Sagona that it failed a city inspection, and says she accepted payment without finishing the job. A homeowner also sued her for breach of contract in Clark County in 2009, and won a consent judgment, court records show.
HARVCO, operated by Gary Harvey | Las Vegas
Vacuum salesman imposter Gary Harvey received a five-year suspended sentence in December after pleading guilty in August to a felony charge of obtaining money under false pretenses from a person over 60 years of age. As part of his plea, Harvey agreed to pay $15,044 in restitution to 19 victims who filed complaints with the Nevada attorney general’s office.
Harvey admitted to selling his products door-to-door without the required Clark County business license and accepting payment from seniors while fraudulently posing as a distributor of Kirby vacuums under the business name HARVCO.
Sandie and Ken Norton of Las Vegas, who filed one of those 19 complaints, bought Harvey’s sales pitch in November 2011 and paid him $972 for what they believed was a new Kirby vacuum. When they discovered later that day the model Harvey sold them was from 1998, they demanded a refund. “We couldn’t get ahold of him,” Sandie says. “We got really screwed over.”
According to the attorney general’s office, numerous victims tried to seek a refund, claiming their vacuums weren’t new or never functioned properly, but they encountered only excuses about the product from Harvey.
Arkidus Home Protection | Miami, Fla.
Las Vegas member Alan Westfall says he purchased a home warranty in March from nationwide Arkidus Home Protection for $392, but later had difficulty scheduling an electrician. After finally getting the repair, the electrician threatened a lien against his home because Arkidus failed to pay. “No one would answer the phone,” Westfall says of Arkidus. “I feel it was a calculated rip-off.”
“I feel it was a calculated rip-off.”
His F review is one of 23 Penalty Box cases, one of two in Las Vegas, filed against the company in 2012. Members allege Arkidus, which received 50 F’s and 5 D’s since May, failed to provide promised services, didn’t respond to calls and emails and never sent refunds.
Arkidus’ owner Reinaldo “Ray” Berges says he’s no longer in business but clients can email him for refunds. Nevada Division of Insurance records show Arkidus is not licensed to sell home warranties and two consumers have filed complaints; the AG’s office says it’s received one complaint for Arkidus.