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Contractor Darren Pereida Under Investigation

Gladys Rivas shakes her fist and explains how she feels.

"Oh so angry. I'm so angry!"

After saving up enough money to make repairs on her sunroom, Gladys says she found an ad for Darren Pereida Construction.

She gave him a deposit of $1,000 for the $3,000 project. Gladys says Darren promised to start work the next day, but after more than a month all she's gotten is a request for even more money.

Gladys says, "He is lying to me and I want my $1,000 back."

Mary Jane Chavez says she also hired Darren Pereida Construction, impressed with his website naming his awards and memberships.

But after paying him a total of $5,700 she says her job is incomplete and not done as he had promised.

Mary Jane explains, "Everything he said he was going to do, he didn't do. But he took my money, $5,700."

I did some digging and learned Pereida is not a member of the Better Business Bureau and never received an award from JDPower and Associates even though he displays both of their emblems on his website. Both groups tell me they will tell him to stop.

Cathedral Pines, the upscale neighborhood in Black Forest, says he also has no connection to that development and will now be told to take these pictures off his website.

Pikes Peak Regional Building tells me Pereida is not licensed to do business here, despite the claim on his web page. It's now investigating Gladys' case.

The Los Angeles city attorney's office tells me Pereida was convicted three times there for operating without a license.

He was named in an LA Times article for taking money from earthquake victims whose homes were damaged in the Northridge earthquake.

When I talked to Pereida and asked about Gladys and Mary Jane's jobs, he blamed them. He said they were both old and confused, but he admits he owes Gladys money.

And Pereida also admitted he's using logos and photos on his website without permission, but he tells me he will soon take them down. We'll keep you posted.

Remember, don't be impressed with slick websites or verbal promises. Do your homework and check out your contractors before hiring them.

Pikes Peak Regional Building Department has a list of licensed contractors on its website. You also can call them and ask if a contractor is licensed to do business here. That number is (719) 327-2880.


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