Construction workers claim they were scammed out of $10,000 at housing development in Adams County

Posted at 9:46 PM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 19:45:37-04

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- Everyone who works hard deserves a paycheck, right? A family of construction workers called Denver7 because they believe they are being scammed. 

Denver7 discovered that a reputable home builder has hired a subcontractor that is not registered in Adams County, as is required for liability purposes.

After a month of back-breaking work on a beautiful new development in Adams County, the workers say they have not seen a dime of the $10,000 they are owed.

The workers took the job thinking their employer would make good on his promise, but once they finished the project, the checks they were given bounced and the man who wrote them disappeared.

Alma Ortiz is out thousands of dollars. Her bank account is in the negatives and she's got hungry mouths to feed.

"He doesn't pay his workers. You build the home, he runs off with the money,” said Ortiz. "Not one dollar has been paid. Nothing. At all."

Ortiz told Denver7 her husband and four other construction workers--all family members--haven't been paid for the house framing work they've done a new subdivision: Midtown at Clear Creek in Adams County. The project is owned and developed by David Weekley Homes.

When they tried to cash the first check, it bounced. The second and third checks did too.

"Can you imagine them being in the sun? All day, working, sweating. That's not fair," said Ortiz.

So we started asking questions and found out about a long list of subcontractors.

The person writing the check--Emilio Tellez, for Tellez Builders LLC or another company called Utah Builders LLC--was hired by another company, Mana Construction.

That company was hired by Brookline Builders LLC, which was the initial subcontractor hired by David Weekley Homes. We did discover that neither Brookline Builders, the owner Jason Thomas, nor Tellez Builders LLC are licensed in Adams County--something that can lead to fines. The general contractor, David Weekly Homes, is registered with the county.

The following is a statement from the Adams County Chief Building Official:

We require that all subcontractors are registered with the county. The project you referred to, Midtown, David Weekley is the general contractor and they hire, of course, multiple subs. It should be the duty of that general contractor to ensure that their subs are registered, just for liability reasons.
--Justin Blair, Adams County’s Chief Building Official