AZROC: Contractor accused of abandoning jobs, not paying workers

PHOENIX - Checking out people you are going to do business with, is a good idea, no matter who you are or what you do.

Nino Almeraz is a licensed contractor who owns a flooring installation company. He tells me he has been fighting to get paid for a job he and his team completed in 2015.

His company was hired as a sub-contractor by Lance Wills, who he says was acting as a general contractor on a restaurant remodel.

"It was a big remodel he's gotta be licensed," Almeraz says.  "How else are you going to pull permits?"

Wills was not licensed, and hasn't been since it was revoked in 2008.

"Every day I'd call, bugging him, texting him."  Almeraz says Wills went from promising to pay, to making excuses. Eventually, he says Wills stopped responding at all.

"You do a job for someone, you know, you tell them what's going on. $3000 isn't chump change" he says.

Wills is listed as one the Arizona Registrar of Contractors' Most Wanted (AZROC)

He's got a long history with them.

The AZROC tells me since his revocation in 2008, 17 complaints have been filed against Wills; 6 have been submitted for prosecution.

Complaints range from poor work, to abandonment, to not paying subcontractors.

The Agency also says Wills is known to use

In February 2015 Wills was convicted of "fraudulent schemes."

Accused of leaving an elderly Mohave County woman's home incomplete and not paying workers for that project either.

The AZROC believes he's still doing it.

We spoke to wills by phone.

He is working out of town but says he does not belong on the Most Wanted list.

Wills says he is paying restitution on the old cases, but acknowledges that he does owe Nino Almeraz.

Wills said he would call Almeraz to work out a payment plan.

Almeraz tells me Wills did call, but he's skeptical anything will come of it.

"None of anything he's had to say has been factual," Almeraz says.

Wills tells me he doesn't know of any open cases with the AZROC and hasn't taken any jobs that require a license since the one with Almeraz, which began in March 2015.

A spokesman for the AZROC tells me, "Mr. Wills is welcome to come down to the office as we'd be happy to clear up any misunderstanding he has. There are open cases."

You can protect yourself by checking out the licenses of potential business partners. You can also check the Maricopa County Superior and Justice Courts to check for civil cases involving the people you are looking to business with. It could give you some insight into their history in business.

Need my help? Call volunteers with the Assistance League of Phoenix at (855) 323-1515, by email, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Print this article Back to Top

What is Let Joe Know?

Let Joe Know protects YOU the consumer. We expose scams and hold businesses accountable for their contracts and agreements. Most important, we share consumer red flags before they hit your wallet!

ABC15's Let Joe Know reports air every weekday during ABC15 News at 6pm. You can also find them here and on the Let Joe Know Facebook page.

Want to help Let Joe Know? Become a volunteer! Call 1-855-323-1515 and leave your name, number to start helping us help others.

SO YOU WANT TO KNOW: COMMON QUESTIONS, EASY ANSWERS

REAL CHECK?
3-DAY CANCEL RULE
HOA DISPUTES 
DEBT COLLECTORS 
STOP JUNK MAIL
CHECKING CHARITIES
RENTAL DEPOSITS
ERASING ELECTRONICS
HIRING CONTRACTORS
PREVENT ID THEFT
IMPROVE CREDIT SCORES
CALL BLOCKERS
HOME WARRANTIES

WEBSITES YOU WANT TO KNOW

Free credit report
Class action settlements
Check businesses complaints
Contractor licenses
Latest recalls
Owed unclaimed money

Get in Touch with Let Joe Know