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AURORA, Colo. – An elderly Aurora couple is warning others about a contractor who they say scammed them out of $14,000.
Mr. & Mrs. Yun-Hoe Cha purchased a new townhome, with an unfinished basement, in the Chateaux at Aurora Park neighborhood, near Iliff & Peoria last March.
A month later, they signed a contract with Pegasus Contractors LLC, of Westminster, to finish the basement.
The purchase order, signed by Mr. Cha and by Tom Koyias of Pegasus, calls for a frame out of exterior walls, partition dividers for a bedroom, bathroom and laundry room, ½ inch drywall, electrical work and plumbing, a bathtub, vanity with sink, medicine cabinet, ceramic tile, carpeting, doors, trim work, and baseboards, among other things.
Koyias wrote on the purchase order: The price of the project for work and materials will be $20,850.
Mr. Cha paid $3,000 up front on April 10.
He said Koyias asked for more money to buy materials, so he wrote out another check for $4,000 on April 12.
A month later, Koyias asked the 82-year-old homeowner for more money, so on May 18, Cha, who speaks very little English, wrote another check for $4,000.
Still, he says Koyias asked for more money in June, saying he needed the cash to purchase more material.
Cha wrote out a check for $3,000.
He said in July that Koyias told him he needed more.
Cha said he expressed reluctance to give more cash, and that's when Koyias allegedly blew up.
“Tom from Pegasus was so upset at him for not giving him additional money,” said interpreter Keum Woo.
After witnessing the outburst, Cha wrote another check, the last one, for $4,000.
That’s a total of $18,000 that was paid to Pegasus.
Contractor wants $25,000 to Finish Project
Mr. Cha says all Pegasus did was framing for the exterior walls and partitions, insulation, electrical work and some rough plumbing, including a shower pan.
“It’s far from being complete,” Cha said through an interpreter, “it’s very stressful.”
The homeowner told Contact7 that he and his son brought in a second contractor, who estimated that Pegasus only did about $4,000 worth of work.
The Cha’s said Koyias told them it would cost another $25,000 to finish the project.
Attempts to Contact
When Contact7 first reached out to Pegasus to inquire about the elderly couple’s claims, a representative, who gave his name as Alex, told the producer the work was done.
The representative of the company that represents itself online as having "30 years of experience" then said they 'underestimated' the job, and that Mr. Cha will have to pay another $20,000.
When the Contact7 producer called him on it, saying it was on him that the job was underestimated, Alex replied that he "didn't care and they could go to court."
A Denver7 crew went to Pegasus Contractors LLC’s listed address at 12153 Melody Dr. Apt. 21-103 in Westminster.
There was no answer at the door.
The crew called Pegasus by phone and left a message, which has not been returned.
The Chas say they’ve been taken advantage of because of their age, background and language.
“They’re senior citizens who are very vulnerable,” the interpreter said, “and they’re Koreans who are not very good at speaking English.”
Mrs. Cha became emotional while telling Denver7 she wants the basement done so she can move furniture and appliances now being stored upstairs and downstairs.
“She’s so frustrated about this unfinished job,” the interpreter said. “Her clothes are still in the garage. As you can see, she’s in tears.”
Mr. Cha said he wants Pegasus to come back and finish the job for the agreed upon price.
Investigations Coordinator Ezra Coopersmith, of the Denver/Boulder Better Business Bureau, said customers should avoid paying for the majority of the project up front.
“It’s not uncommon to pay some money up front for materials and work,” he said.
Coopersmith said you should put in writing how much will be paid, when it will be paid, and what work will be done in return.