(FOX 2) - He's combative, he's combustible and he's crafty. This contractor has been cheating his customers for years and he's got a string of convictions to prove it.
Jon Craft’s a big dude with a bad temper, and he sure wasn't happy to see me. Craft thinks he's going get me to back down.
Craft: "Get the f*** away from me now. Get out of my face."
He also thinks he's going to get me to lay off.
Craft: "You have nothing better to do with your f****** time? I'm going to kick your f****** a**."
But I’ve been dealing con man contractors like Craft for years.
Craft: "Get the f*** out of my face."
In fact, I’ve been dealing with Craft himself for years.
Craft: "How about you get out of my face? Now.”
His antics have gotten him a lot of unwanted attention.
Craft: "All you guys are just leeches."
And now, in front of the Canton Home Depot, Craft’s antics are once again drawing stares.
Craft: "You got me so G****** mad right now. I'm about to…you guys can go about your business. … Seriously, it's not a free f****** show out here."
You're wrong Craft. It is a free show, so let's raise the curtain. Meet Katie and Sean. Katie works in a bank, and Sean is a disabled veteran who served in Afghanistan.
Last year, Katie posted to a Facebook page that she needed some bedrooms built in her basement for her kids. She got a message from a guy named Jon Craft.
Craft: "I’m a contractor looking to reach out on my own. I'd love to have a house I can make a showpiece."
Wow, perfect. Craft drew up a proposal and the couple accepted it. Within the first few weeks of the project, they paid Craft $10,000. Craft had a good crew and things were going well. So they paid him more money. Then, it all changed. There was no crew, just Craft.
Sean: "We started seeing him every day and then every other day and then four a day twice a week and then it was every other week. People in his family were dropping like flies for funeral. He was in the hospital numerous times for this and that … It was just lots of excuses."
Soon, the subcontractors Craft hired were threatening to put liens on the house.
Sean: “We paid for the egress. He never paid the egress guy. We paid for the H.V.A.C. work. They started calling us telling us they never got paid."
Even though Sean and Katie had paid Craft more than $20,000, he said he needed more money for materials. Sean said Craft told him that if he (Craft) paid more money, it would her his (Craft’s) family.
Sean: "What about our family? I served my country to take care of my family. She goes to work to take care of our family. We do a lot to for our family. So what about our family Jon?"
The couple fired Craft and hired other contractors to finish the job – other contractors who said that Craft guy’s a crook. In fact, while he was working on their house, Craft was actually on probation for taking money under false pretenses and working as an unlicensed contractor.
Katie contacted the Hall of Shame, and I sure remember Jon Craft. In 2008, I dubbed Jon Craft the Cub Scout Contractor because many of his victims were parents of Craft's kid's friends in Cub Scouts. His victim in my first story were scout parents, school teachers and a guy fixing up a house for his daughter. They say Craft charged them for work he didn't do, and the work he did do was bad.
Craft was already on probation for false pretenses and after that story aired, Craft was arrested and plead guilty to violating probation. After that, Craft was back in more trouble, this time pleading guilty to felony embezzlement. I tried to talk to him before he went into court, but he blew his stack.
Craft: "Get the f*** out of my face.”
Craft was chastised by the judge.
Judge: "You are an un-repentant and serial con artist."
Craft was sentenced to one to five years in state prison. He got out, and then he got in more trouble. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to felony larceny. Then last year, he pleaded guilty to taking money under false pretenses and working as an unlicensed residential builder. Then he took on Katie and Sean’s remodeling job.
Even though they hired people to finish much of the work, Craft’s handiwork is still around, including a room he started to build with things inside that are too big to fit through what would be the door.
Time for me to have a relaxing chat with Jon Craft.
Rob: "Hey Jon Craft how are you doing? Whatcha been up to lately?
Craft: "Get away from me. Get the f*** away from me now. Get out of my face. I've had enough of you. I've done nothing wrong. You're pushing me past my limits. Get out of my face."
Rob: "Jon. Jon? Can I talk to you?"
I haven't even had a chance to say anything to Jon yet, but he knows why I’m here.
Craft: "You got me so worked up I swear to God."
Rob: "OK man, calm down.”
Craft: "No. You don't understand dude. You have no idea what I’ve been through with this s***. No clue. Like to the point where I’m about to snap and break someone's neck."
Well I don't want my neck snapped. But I do need to mention that one of the things Craft is on probation for right now is working as an unlicensed contractor. And he took on Katie and Sean’s job.
Rob: "Is that a contract?"
Craft: "You don't even know."
Rob: "You were working as a contractor right?"
Craft: "I was working as a guy who did some work on her basement."
Rob: "That's a proposal right?"
Craft: "But she knew I was not licensed."
Rob: "I don't think that matters, does it Jon?"
Craft: "I’m a guy trying to make a living and you've made it so hard for me."
Rob: "How have I made it hard? You keep getting yourself arrested.”
This gets Craft cranky.
Craft: "…you got nothing better to do with your f****** time. I'm gonna kick your f****** a**. I swear to God.”
Rob: "Why have you continued to get in trouble?"
Craft: "No you're just.... get the f*** out of my face.”
Rob: "Jon, don't hit me. You're on probation you'll get in big trouble."
Craft: "At this point it's almost worth it. I've done nothing wrong to this woman except not get the job done in a timely fashion. And I ought to take that camera and shove it up your f****** a** for being next to him."
Craft is a combative guy and now his customer, and guy who saw real combat in the military, and his spouse, say Jon ripped them off.
Rob: "I would just make sure those people are taken care of."
Craft: “But I’m not giving her back $25,000. That's about all the money she gave me and I got months into that project. … I’ve got sub-contractors that were paid … guys I brought in to help me. I'm not giving her back $25,000 and now she's trying to sue me for $45,000."
Rob: "It still sounds like you're pretending to be a contractor."
Craft: "No. I was not pretending she knew I was not a licensed contractor working on that project.”
That's not what Katie says. And remember Craft has been busted for this before.
Craft: "Yeah OK, I got caught up in an unlicensed builder situation … the funniest thing … It was a bulls*** law in the first place."
Craft doesn’t like the law, and wouldn't you know it, I’m the guy who helped get it passed.
Craft: "Because you're going to paint me any way you can paint me to make me look bad.”
Rob: “I'm not going to paint you any special way to make you look bad, you keep getting arrested Jon. You keep getting in trouble. I keep getting contacted by people. I got no beef with you personally. I don't want to chase you around.”
Katie and Sean have filed a lawsuit against Craft. Craft told me he's going to fight it. He admits he was a bad guy 10 years ago but says he's a changed man. The problem is he's been convicted of several felonies since then and he sure didn't seem like he'd changed much when he came at me.
Jon you've truly mastered the craft of making it into... The Haaalllllll of Shame.