Aurora man says contractor who scammed him has history of ripping people off

AURORA, Colo. -- In 2015, the FOX31 Problem Solvers investigated a contractor who was allegedly paid for jobs he never finished. Now, we have learned the same contractor is accused in small claims court of doing shoddy work that did not meet code.

Aurora resident Steve Buchner said he hired Cobra Construction's Bruce Kolbe during the summer of 2018 to change the steps and concrete in front of the home.

"I hired him, paid him... paid him half the money up front: $1,750," Buchner said.

However, after workers finished the job, Buchner realized the steps were not up to code.

"The way he poured the steps is not up to code for the city of Aurora, so I can't keep the steps," Buchner said.

Buchner sued Kolbe in small claims court and won a $1,700 judgement against him in November. However, Kolbe has still not paid Buchner.

"He absolutely refuses to pay us," said Buchner.

Kolbe told us he had declared bankruptcy and shut down his business. He previously operated under the name Jamax Construction.  Our 2015 investigation revealed a woman with multiple sclerosis had hired Kolbe to paint her house. Tammy Vittorelli told us that Kolbe took all their money up front and left them with a half-painted home.

That’s why Buchner wants everyone to know about what happened in his case.

“He’s still doing this to people," Buchner said.

Consumer experts advise not paying for jobs up front, researching complaints against companies and making sure the company pulls permits.

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