• Action News Jax Investigates: Contractor accused of taking advantage of homeowners

    By: Russell Colburn , Action News Jax


    Action News Jax Investigates claims of shoddy home renovation work in Springfield.

    Neighbors said they’ve been taken for tens of thousands of dollars by the same contractor Action News Jax first told you about a year ago.

    Monday, both the contractor and the alleged victims told Action News Jax they plan to sue the other party, so it’ll be up to the courts to decide who’s paying up.

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    Dianna Augustus said she paid Nathaniel Gardner $32,500 to renovate a home on North Liberty Street.

    But Augustus said Gardner took the money and ran.

    “He left me without flooring, without toilets, without a kitchen, without a whole room in my guest house and it was like, well what do I do? I don't know how to fix this,” Augustus said.

    Right next door, John Carter says Gardner got away with about the same amount.

    “He gained our trust,” Carter said. “He told us he was a pastor, and we're believers, and we trusted him to do the work that he said he was going to do.”

    Gardner’s company is Total Home Improvement Dudes Inc., which has a “D+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.

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    This time last year, Action News Jax showed you the sign in Mary Moses’ yard, alleging Gardner is a scam artist. Moses said Gardner never finished her fence.

    Monday, Action News Jax spoke with Gardner.

    “The problem was that [Augustus and Carter were] running short on money, they was changing they mind, and then they began to complain about we was moving too slow,” Gardner said.

    Action News Jax asked Gardner if he would give any money back to Augustus and Carter.

    “No, they owe us money,” Gardner said.

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