Action 9

Many customers angry after paying large deposits to contractor for work not done

Homeowners say they picked a contractor that had "trust" in its name but now claim they could lose thousands of dollars.

Action 9 has investigated a top manager at this company before about lost deposits and work never done.

Michael Clutter had big plans for a remodeled bathroom and new windows at his Minneola home.

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After finding Trusted Development Group online with good reviews, he hired the contractor and paid a $9,000 deposit

“Where’s your money?” Todd Ulrich asked.

“I would like to know where my money is at,” Clutter said.

According to Clutter, 6 weeks later the company had not paid for a permit to even begin his job and managers did not respond.

“I told them if I didn’t get money or something done, I was going to contact an attorney and the attorney general, which I did,” Clutter said.

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He also contacted Action 9. So did 10 other homeowners who told us they paid big deposits for renovation projects that were not finished or started.

“What have they done for that $20,000?” Ulrich asked.

“Uh, nothing, except a lot of headaches,” Melissa Polzer replied.

Polzer feels burned by Trusted Development after paying a $20,000 deposit to build a second story addition.

She claimed the company did not apply for building permits 10 weeks after taking her money. Polzer then asked to cancel and get her money back.

“They kind of attacked me and said you’re on a recorded line, how can I help you,” Polzer said.

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Action 9 first uncovered big trouble with this contractor a year ago under a different name. But the complaints were similar, big deposits for work not done.

Customers told us they dealt with Chris and Allison Craft at Carter Construction and Development and they could not get their money back.

Records show Allison Craft then started Trusted Development Group last December.

The Better Business Bureau suspended its membership for a pattern of complaints.

And Action 9 found Chris Craft has a history in two other states. The Ohio Attorney General acted against Chris Craft for unfair and deceptive home contracting. And Chris Craft was charged in Indiana with home improvement fraud and he paid restitution.

Ulrich tried contacting managers at Trusted Development by phone.

Later, a company spokesperson told Ulrich some permits were held up by design work and change orders. He said the company is working to resolve disputes and offered refunds in some cases.

Polzer and Clutter say after contacting Action 9 the company applied for permits but now it is too late.

“I would not let them in my house or on my property whatsoever now,” Clutter said.

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The Florida Office of the Attorney General told Action 9 they have received 45 complaints against Trusted Development since January and the complaints are being reviewed.

It’s important for homeowners to protect their home and their money. When it comes to home renovations, make a minimal deposit, and use a credit card if possible.

And if permits have not been applied for in 30 days, homeowners can dispute the charge and cancel the job.

Trusted Development Group response:

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich,

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.