AURORA, Colo. — The FOX31 Problem Solvers have warned you about a lot of shady contractors. However, one man keeps reappearing, apparently scamming people time and time again.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers first introduced you to Bruce Kolbe in 2015 when he painted half of a woman’s house and then walked away with her money. Several others contacted us after that story, saying they were also scammed out of money by Kolbe.
In 2018, Kolbe emerged again when he messed up Steve Buchner’s concrete job. Buchner, an Aurora resident, took Kolbe to court and won a small claims judgement for roughly $1,700. However, two years later he still hasn’t been paid.
“Not a dime. Not a penny,” Buchner said. “I’m angry that he’s still operating. I’m angry that he knows how to work the system to continue to this day still ripping people off.”
Buchner does receive regular texts from Kolbe every time he reaches out asking for him to make things right. Buchner says most of those texts are full of expletives and taunts.
“He knows what he’s doing and he laughs about it. He laughs in my face about it and everyone else,” Buchner said.
Kolbe is now operating a new business under the name George Bruce. The business is called J.N.M. Concrete.
Kirk Yeager hired Kolbe last fall. He woke up one morning and found his basement underwater. He says Kolbe had been working down the street and offered to help, providing an estimate for new flooring, trim and walls for $12,900.
“I understood it was all going to be done really quickly and within the original budget,” Yeager told the Problem Solvers.
However, four months and $16,000 later, the work still isn’t done. Kolbe is now demanding a total of $20,000 instead of $12,900.
“I feel emotional about it because it’s put my house in an uproar,” said Yeager.
Yeager had a stroke several years ago and suffers from some minor cognitive issues. He says the stress has made things worse. Yeager claims Kolbe provided only hand-written receipts and has repeatedly tried to double charge him.
“There’s multiple references on the receipts to installing new trim, new flooring, new vanity,” he explained.
Yeager finally had enough. He fired Kolbe after he was asked to write yet another check.
“It should have been so simple. It’s a lot of money,” said Yeager.
Yeager is still trying to finish his basement. If you can help in someway let the FOX31 Problem Solvers know. You can email them at email@example.com.
Kolbe has owned or operated as least three businesses over the past five years. One of them, Cobra Construction, filed for bankruptcy in 2019.