SCAM ALERT: Victims possibly lost thousands to man who promised swimming pools

DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) -- Annette Bear and her two daughters recently moved from three acres of land to a brand new home in Deer Park.

"If we moved to a neighborhood, one of the deals was we were going to get a pool," Bear said.

Bear decided to go with a man she had met about a year ago who claimed to have a pool business.

"He had all the information correct when I talked to him. He could tell you how to build a pool," she said.

Bear said she paid $2,000 up front. He allegedly told her that was, in part, for permits. She paid him another $6,800 that was for materials and his crew.

According to their signed contract, work was supposed to start on April 15. But after calling the city, she told ABC13 she found out there was no record of him applying for any permits under his own name or the two companies listed on the contract: Texas Custom Pools and Texas Pool Installers.

Bear called police. Her call was the second call police got about the same guy.

"He used two different company names that he told them he worked under. And neither one of those were legitimate companies that we could find out," explained Lt. Frank Hart.

The other victim was replacing an above ground pool. She paid him $2,000 up front back in October. After several follow-up visits and explanations, all these months later work still hasn't started on her pool.

So, she called the police.

On their Facebook page, Deer Park Police Department posted both stories and a picture of the alleged scammer, Jamie Kujawah. He has not been arrested.

"We're waiting to see if there are any additional victims before charges are pursued," said Lt. Hart.

ABC13 went to Kujawah's home. He was not home, but his father said it's a big misunderstanding. According to Kujawah's father, he owned a pool business last year and he's working to get the victims their money back.

A call to Kujawah was not returned.

"Unfortunately no pool for now because that was a big chunk of money and I wanted to try to pay cash and not have any bills because I'm a single parent," Bear said.

Neither of these alleged victims checked Kujawah's references.

Lt. Hart said buyers should always check references, go look at their work personally to see what they've done, check the Better Business Bureau, and check online and social media to see what kind of establishment the business has there.

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