CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A disabled Purple Heart veteran says he was scammed out of thousands of dollars when a contractor walked off the job with his money and material.
This veteran has a prosthetic leg and in addition to numerous health issues was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. The addition to their house was to help him get around but so far has done more harm than good.
Delinda Eason takes her husband Ronald Eason to the doctor almost every day. The couple decided to convert their garage into a bedroom and bathroom for Ronald who has trouble getting up the stairs.
“I’ll be able to get my scooter in there. Then I won’t have to, you know, be walking trying getting up the stairs and stuff like that, that’ll help me. And the bathroom and stuff is wider. If I need my scooter to get to the bathroom I can do that but open like it is now basically, I got to go to the bathroom, I crawl to the bathroom,” Ronald said.
They hired queen bee remodeling to do the work for nearly $17,000 dollars. Selina Piazza owns the business and took $12,000 from them then walked off with their money and materials which were supposed to be included but they purchased.
“I gave her $8,000 that first week, that was the week of June 1, A month later when she came back over here to start working she said she didn’t have any money she has to use it for this and that and she had to pay off all her workers. It was at this point we gave her another $5,000,” said Delinda.
A contractor that was hired to help Piazza told FOX 46 off-camera he immediately knew she was doing shady work.
“She wanted to put the blocks under the floor and he was like I’ve never seen blocks under the floor, so he just left,” Delinda said.
They are now paying another $9,000 to have the work completed… and it’s taking a toll.
“Because I’m used to having at least two, three thousand dollars on me without even any problem and now I can’t have nothing on me and it hurts. And it hurts,” said Ronald.
The Better Business Bureau shows Piazza has listed her business under at least seven names in since the 90’s. They have only two complaints, but say she’s hard to find.
“Never had too many complaints filed against them. One back in 2013 that we couldn’t get a satisfactory resolution on, it was closed as being unresolved by the company and now just this newest complaint filed by Mr. Eason,” said Tom Bartholomy, President of the Better Business Bureau.
He told us that first complaint was for unsatisfactory, unfinished work which the client proved. However, Piazza wasn’t willing to settle so the case was closed.
“Our investigation dating back to April of this year showed the company was out of business based on mail being returned, emails being rejected and phone calls coming back as being disconnected as well,” Tom said.
FOX 46 tried to contact Piazza but when we called we got no answer, and when we knocked on the door at the address listed for her no one came to the door.
“I think she should go to jail for a long time because a lot of disabled veterans can’t even really help themselves and then she’s hurting them even worse. I don’t know I’m really tangled up right now. I’m just hurting so bad. I don’t know, I’m just a human being with feelings that’s all,” said Ronald.
Our investigation into this construction company and the agency that recommended is ongoing. We will keep you updated as we get results.