A Scottsdale man hires a fake contractor for a $150,000 remodeling job

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — When Jim Dornfeld bought this Scottsdale home last year, he had big plans to remodel it. “We wanted new floors, new cabinets, new bathrooms, and so on,” Jim told 3 On Your Side as he showed us around the house.

So when he hired a guy named Don Libby to fix a small leak in the house, Jim said Don Libby convinced him that he was licensed and could do a lot more than just fix leaks. Libby reportedly claimed he could handle Jim’s entire remodeling job. “He said, ‘Hey, I can do that. I have the skills and the contacts. Let me help you get this done,'” Jim recalls Libby saying.

According to Jim, he eventually hired Libby, who instructed Jim to send money electronically to his wife, not him. Jim says it felt a bit strange sending money to someone else, but he agreed, and Jim forwarded almost $150,000 over several months. “Oh yeah, we trusted him a lot at first,” Jim explained.

Jim claims that for all that money, Libby committed about $70,000 in labor and supplies over five months. However, Jim says the workmanship was poor and eventually Libby never showed up again.

So Jim Googled Libby and came up with a 3 On Your Side report he couldn’t believe. “Hi, I’m Gary Harper from 3 On Your Side,” Harper said when facing Libby in 2016. “They have issued multiple warrants for your arrest.”

It turns out that 3 On Your Side has confronted and published multiple reports about Libby over the past few years, particularly because she took money, did subpar work, and then disappeared with people’s money.

At one point, he even ended up on the Arizona Registrar of Contractors’ Most Wanted List as a fake contractor. “They seem to keep ripping off people and getting into trouble,” Harper told Libby. “Uh, I haven’t ripped off anyone lately or anything,” Libby replied at the time.

So I tried to catch up with Libby by going to his house. I wanted to speak to him about Jim Dornfeld’s remodeling job but no one answered.

However, Libby called me back and said he works for an out of state remodeling company that is not run by his wife but by a Florida woman and that he is their employee here in Arizona. He went on to say that Jim’s remodeling job was going well until his story came out. “Well, they found out about my past, and I think they brought in some other people then (to transform it). “I think they thought they were taking me to the cleaners,” Libby said.

The Registrar of Contractors confirms to 3 On Your Side that they are investigating Libby again. As for Jim, he says he can’t believe that Libby has gone back to his old tricks and that he is now one of his victims. “It tells me we have a real, flawed system, and there must be some way that people like me can learn about these people.”

I’ll let you know what happens in a follow-up report. Before you ever hire a contractor, make sure they are licensed and legitimate by checking with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. You can do that by going to this link to check them out on roc.force.com.


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