INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — An Independence woman is out thousands of dollars and has an incomplete pool and a messed up yard. The 77-year-old said the contractor left her high and dry.
Dolores Ross wanted a small pool, like a splash pad, where her grandkids could play. She paid the owner of Jefe LLC $2,000 upfront.
Two and a half months later, the project is still incomplete, and the contractor is refusing to communicate, according to Ross.
“I feel like I’ve just been had,” Ross said.
Instead of stepping into a refreshing pool, Ross walked across gravel.
“And it’s still not level,” Ross said.
In April, she hired Sean Gasaway, owner of Jefe LLC, to put in a concrete slab that’s 4 inches deep.
Gasaway told FOX4 he planned to finish the job two weeks later, but in a phone call, he claimed the rain was “too hectic” to do it. After 10 weeks of work, there are only four walls and some rebar to show.
“He might’ve been here 10 times,” Ross said.
Ross said he even wanted to pour concrete where there’s clearly a hole between the wood and ground. She worried that would have made the wet concrete spread outside the splash pad.
“I’m to the point that I don’t trust him. I don’t want him around,” Ross said.
A copy of the invoice shows that they agreed on $3,600 and $2,000 up front. Five weeks in, Ross said he asked for another $800, blaming gas prices and increased supply costs.
“I gave him $800,” Ross said. “He has not been back since.”
But Gasaway has called and asked her for more money, according to Ross.
In a phone call with FOX4, Gasaway confirmed he used some of her money to pay workers for a different job.
We’ve given the owner nearly two weeks to talk with us. On Tuesday, he blocked communication with FOX4 — similar to Ross’ experience.
“Ugh, just the irritation. He had me so upset that my back spasmed,” Ross said. “It is ridiculous. Then he says, ‘I don’t want to deal with you anymore. You have your attorney contact me.'”
The 77-year-old is now left staring at a mess that’ll cost $2,300 to clean up.
Ross said Gasaway damaged tree roots and her new $8,000 driveway with a machine known as a Dingo.
While scooping up gravel, he went under the pavement and lifted it, according to Ross, “and then he piled gravel on top of it so nobody would see it,” she said.
Gasaway denies it. He also told FOX4 he wanted to work out a deal with Ross. She gave him until Monday to pay her back, but it’s been crickets so far.
“He would not really respond. He didn’t say, ‘No, I won’t do it,’ but it never happened ’cause I asked him several times, ‘Are you going to refund that $800?'” Ross’ attorney Les White said.
Now, Ross plans to take him to court.
“I just want my money back,” she said.
Several reputable contractors FOX4 talked to said this sounds like a scam. But Gasaway said he’s no scammer, just a small business owner trying to make ends meet.
“I just hope he doesn’t do this to other people because it’s not right,” Ross said.
Ross has since found a different contractor to put in the splash pad, and he’s willing to do it for less than Gasaway .