8News Investigates: Contractor Fraud In Virginia - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

8News Investigates: Contractor Fraud In Virginia

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Duwan Mundin Duwan Mundin
8News Investigative Reporter A.J. Lagoe and Duwan Mundin 8News Investigative Reporter A.J. Lagoe and Duwan Mundin
Robin Rucker Robin Rucker

LOUISA, VA—An 8News Investigation found a local businessman who claims to be so successful he "couldn't be broke if he tried," is forcing taxpayers to foot the bill as he heads to court on allegations he cheated an area widow out of tens of thousands of dollars.

Duwan Mundin claims to be a lot of things—a motivational speaker, the CEO of a marketing company, a hi-rolling businessman and the owner of a construction company.

But Robin Rucker, a recently widowed woman who claims Mundin stole thousands of dollars from her, says "he wasn't who he portrayed himself to be, and I had to learn that the hard way."

Rucker entered into a construction contract with Mundin and paid him some $30,000 to construct a porch and do other work on her property.

"He was just asking for more money, more money," said Rucker.

Rucker who had just lost her husband, claims Mundin took her money and barely did any of the work for which she paid him.

"This guy knew that my husband had recently passed, and I think he thought it was a good opportunity for him to run a scam," Rucker told 8News.

8News uncovered it's more than just a take the money and run scam, we found Mundin's company, D&N Contractors doesn't even have a license.

"Mr. Mundin is not associated with any licensed contractor firm," Mary Vaughan the director of Virginia's Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) public affairs department told 8News.

DPOR charged Mundin with construction fraud, and, at one point, he was even listed as Central Virginia's Fugitive of the Week before turning himself in.

Our 8News Investigation revealed when Mundin went to court, he received a court appointed attorney. That means, instead of paying for his own legal fees, Virginia taxpayers are stuck footing the bill.

Under oath, Mundin filled out documents, claiming both he and his wife were unemployed, had zero income, no cash on hand and no money in the bank.

But those claims raised red flags, since 8News discovered Facebook posts in which Mundin and his wife were claiming to be CEO's of the Mundin Group LLC., a multi-level marketing company.

Mundin told the court he was penniless, but writes online "Crazy! I couldn't be broke again if I tried."

Other post read "all excuses of being broke is dead" and "there's a lot of money and success in this pic."

In a brochure 8News obtained, Mundin is listed as a host for an April seminar where people could learn to start their own business and create another income.

In a Facebook post to convicted felons, Mundin says he can show them how to make $3,000 in the next 30 days, and says "this isn't a scam."

After our investigation, prosecutors in Louisa County told us they would investigate whether Mudin had committed perjury when he obtained a court appointed attorney.

And, according to the State Corporation Commission, there is no Mundin Group LLC. registered to do business in Virginia.

As for Rucker's claims that Mundin stole thousands of dollars from her, our 8News Investigation found she wasn't alone in falling victim to him.

In 2005, Mundin was convicted of taking more than $1,000 from a Richmond man for construction work he never performed. In Henrico, Mundin was found guilty of prohibited acts by a contractor. And in Chesterfield County, he was convicted of construction fraud—in that case, he took nearly $1,000 to tear down an old porch and build a new brick one, work he never completed.

Robin Rucker has filed a lawsuit to try and get her money back, and the criminal case against Duwan Mundin is moving forward in Louisa County.

But this isn't an isolated problem; our 8News Investigation uncovered there's a widespread problem with unlicensed contractors taking advantage of unsuspecting home owners.

DPOR tells 8News between 2010 and 2012 it successfully prosecuted 170 criminal cases against unlicensed contractors, resulting in more than $500,000 in court ordered restitution.

To help protect Virginians and ensure they're hiring a reputable contactor, DPOR has a search function on their website where consumers can check the license status of all contractors.

"Folks should know that the vast majority of licensed contractors are upstanding folks with whom they should do business," said Vaughan with DPOR. "They just need to watch out and check and be very wary of anyone who is unlicensed because there are often reasons why they are not licensed."

 
Tips from DPOR on how to protect yourself when hiring a contractor:
· Top Ten Tips
· What You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor
· DPOR Consumer Guide: Hiring a Contractor

 

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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