Elderly cancer patient says unlicensed contractor scammed her out of over $19,000 for Harvey repairs

DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) -- A Deer Park family has a warning after a contractor took thousands of dollars without completing the work he was paid for.

"It's better to do your research and wait for somebody that you know will do a good job, than to just take anybody that's available," said Carrie Harney.

Her mother, Charla Goodwin, hired an out-of-state contractor to fix up her house after Hurricane Harvey flooded it with 10 inches of water.

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Goodwin says her contractor, Kelvin Robins, wrote up a contract and started the job.

"The walls are supposed to be a light gray and the ceiling white," Goodwin said.

But she says he didn't finish. She's been living with concrete floors, incomplete walls and a gutted master bathroom since March.

Goodwin showed us the receipts for more than $19,000, each signed by Robins.

Now Goodwin says she has only a simple request, "I would love to have my bathroom and my bedroom back."

Eyewitness News checked with the Louisiana State Licensing Board of Contractors, and found Robins was fined in 2017 for contracting and working on mold remediation without a license.

A check on their website does not find an active license for Robins or his company, Certified Home Improvements, out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

And while Robins hasn't shown up to the Deer Park home in months, the family says he is easy to find by phone.

"He's been calling her weekly since this happened, he didn't just ghost with the money," said Harney. "The contractor has been calling quite a bit. He's been texting my mother, he's been begging her not to air the story, he's been calling her and crying. He's been quite upset, even to the point where he asks her doesn't she care about his newborn baby."

Over the course of nine months, the family says Robins has continued to beg for more time.

"He's absolutely taking advantage of her," Harney said. "He's playing on her emotions. He calls her and just tries to talk to her."

And this is not Goodwin's only fight. The 66-year-old was diagnosed with cancer several years ago. Her daughter tells us it is terminal.

"She's had the max on radiation that she can get in her lifetime," Harney said. "She's very close to the chemo max on what she can have."

A friend of Robins did arrive at the house Monday.

He says he was sent to check out the demolition work. He brought a piece of paper and a pencil to take notes.

After a brief tour of the home he left, telling Eyewitness News he would be back Wednesday to start the rebuilding.

Eyewitness News asked the friend if he was licensed in the state of Texas to do this work, but he said he was not.

Eyewitness News spoke with Robins over the phone several times. He declined to provide a statement.

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