Brothers Dimitri and Dante' were born months apart, but share the same genetic disorder.
Because both boys are severely disabled, their mother Christina Lopez, has to file for guardianship when they turn 18 years old. Legally they will be considered adults and will need their mother to make decisions for them because the boys are not able to.
Older brother Dimitri went through the process in 2015.
So when time came for Dante', Christina hired the same company called PPG Legal Documents. It is a firm that prepares legal documents and files them with court. She dealt with owner Lisa Perez.
"I gave her all the personal information she needed and I expected her to complete the documents and file them in a timely manner," Christina says.
She didn't...in fact Christina says Perez did nothing for the $1,200 she was given and stopped almost all communication once she received payment.
"Days went by, I didn't hear from her. I started to worry. I sent her an email. Didn't hear back. A week went by and my gut was telling me something is not right," she explains.
Eventually she says she got an email from Perez apologizing but says after that she never heard from her again.
Soon Christina connected with other families on Facebook with the same story.
One of them was Amy Sullivan.
She says In March 2016 she paid Perez $2,500 to complete guardianship paperwork for her two daughters Christine and Emma, but April she got worried.
"I then began to call almost daily leaving messages and email many times so I would have written confirmation of the chain of events," Amy says.
She says she never heard from Perez again.
"I kept seeing her on a beach somewhere using our money," Christina says.
Christina couldn't let it go, so she let me know.
Volunteer Grant jumped in to help, reaching out directly to Perez. She did not respond to us for months.
We found that the Arizona Supreme Court certifies legal document preparers in Arizona.
And a spokesperson tell me Perez's license ran out in July 2015.
Christina and Amy hired her in 2016.
After months of attempts we were finally able to contact Perez by email.
She had no explanation for where the money went but says she has been ill and gave a statement saying in part:
"I completely understand the seriousness of the situation with my clients and appreciate their dissatisfaction. As terrible as I truly feel about that, it was never my intention to do anything but provide a highly qualified professional service, as I have done for 20 some odd years; without any formal complaints, only happy customers. And, despite my sincere desire to do so, unfortunately, I am currently not in a position, financially, to make amends. It is my intention, however, to make this right as soon as I am able."
Christina says she's most upset because the people it really hurts are the kids.
"It hurt my feelings for my son because she did it to my son. These kids have been through a lot in their little lifetimes and for somebody to be able to do that and just be ok with it?"
Both families had to pay another company to complete the process for them.
To protect yourself check business reviews and social media for complaints and check to see if the person you are hiring is certified through the Arizona Supreme Court.
Need my help?
Call volunteers with the Assistance League of Phoenix at 855-323-1515, email me at Joe@abc15.com or contact me on Facebook or Twitter.