Worst Phoenix Contractors of 2009

Worst Phoenix Contractors of 2009

Design International Flooring | Phoenix

Dmitry Ioshpa, owner of Design International Flooring, took thousands of dollars from victims throughout Maricopa and Pinal counties before completing shoddy work or no work at all, according to the Arizona ROC.

He pleaded guilty to felony theft in October, and was set to be sentenced on Dec. 11.

Ioshpa, an unlicensed contractor, is one of the ROC's "Most Wanted." He faced similar charges in 2005 and 2006 from the ROC, and courts ordered him to pay fines and restitution to his victims, says Tyler Palmer, the ROC's public information officer.

In the theft case, Alexander Pedenko of Scottsdale gave Ioshpa a $6,000 deposit for granite countertops, but he never returned to do any work, according to court records.

Palmer says Ioshpa typically required a 50-percent down payment for granite, countertop and flooring work. When consumers complained about the poor quality work, Ioshpa would fail to correct it or finish it.

Ioshpa also has three civil judgments against him totaling $5,688. The Maricopa County public defender's office spokesman says Ioshpa's attorney could not comment.

Affordable Remodeling | Phoenix

Affordable Remodeling owner Christopher James Eastwood was scheduled to go to trial Nov. 30 on 38 charges, including felony theft, fraudulent schemes and contracting without a license.

Eastwood is on the Arizona Registrar of Contractors' "Most Wanted List" for bilking nearly $150,000 from residents in Maricopa and Yavapai counties for shoddy or unfinished remodeling projects, according to court documents.

"Eastwood had business cards and contracts," says Tyler Palmer, the ROC's public information officer. "He looked a little more polished than other contractors."

Arnold Zimmerman of Carefree hired Eastwood to build a home bar and paid him $5,660. A week later, Eastwood asked for more money even though he hadn't started any work.

"He told me his son was in the hospital and it was very serious," Zimmerman says. He paid Eastwood an additional $8,350, but asked for a refund after weeks of excuses and delayed work.

"He'd call and say he was coming over to pay me in full, but he'd never show," Zimmerman says. "I can't imagine I'll ever see any of that money."

Eastwood also has four civil judgments against him totaling more than $28,000. A spokesman for the Maricopa County public defender's office says Eastwood's attorney could not comment.

John V. Monticalvo | Surprise, Ariz.

Manuel and Felicidad Abrenica say John V. Monticalvo ruined their dream to build a Christian missionary retreat in the mountains of Pinal County. They say the contractor took their $60,000 and fled.

"He was very sincere," Felicidad says. "He seemed like he really wanted to help us."

After learning Monticalvo had allegedly scammed other friends and family, the Abrenicas filed a complaint with the Arizona ROC, but learned they had no recourse to recover their money because Monticalvo was not licensed.

The ROC, which named Monticalvo to its "Most Wanted List," reports that he was arrested in August on warrants for unlicensed contracting and released on bond.

At press time, Kostas Kalaitzidis, spokesman for the Pinal County Attorney's Office, says his office is investigating whether to file more serious charges against Monticalvo.

"If the investigation yields evidence of wrongdoing, we'll go after him," Kalaitzidis says.

The contractor could not be reached for comment.

— reporting by Kristen Rojowski

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