Kitchen & bath remodelers vanish after customers' money gets drained

Say hi to jilting John.

"Hi, I'm John Ward from All in One Kitchen & Bath," the commercial says.

And his wife Saundra the absconder.

"Hello, Saundra Ward here in our Howell showroom."

"I want them to suffer, but I want them behind bars," said Greg, a victim.

Yeah, John and Saundra Ward's customers are stunned by what they've done.

"I was dumbfounded," said Griffin.

"My jaw hit the floor," Greg said.

And they were disgusted by how they did it.

"They didn't give us any way to contact them, they didn't say they were going to pay us back.  uh, nothing," Griffin said.

"I think they're a bunch of selfish (expletives) that decided they were going to take the money and run," Greg said.

John and Saundra Ward

John and Saundra Ward

And they may have run, but Rob Wolchek found them.

All in One Kitchen & Bath has a fancy showroom in Howell. They have custom trucks their construction crews show up to your door in.

This is a remodeling business that's been around for years and had a great reputation and costly, but first-class service.

"Are you ready to take the next step and schedule your VIP consultation today?" says John in his commercial.

Customers who spoke to Rob say they were ready - and shelled out big bucks to hold a spot to get new kitchens and bathrooms.

"We've paid about $32,000," Greg said.

Wolchek: "So you gave him $52,000? Whew, that's a lot."

"Yeah, that's a lot," Jason said.

"We gave them our project down payment in March, for almost $27,000," Griffin said.

But three months later Griffin got this letter in the mail.

"’All in One Kitchen & Bath is forced to close it's doors and cease all business operations,’" he said, reading it aloud.

Remember, Griffin gave John and Saundra's company $27,000 and was told his job would start this fall. So he's got nothing for that money.

Diane got the letter too. One week after the company called her and said her job was starting soon.

"They knew they were in trouble, but yet, they kept saying everything is on track," she said.

They got her $39,000 deposit in March.

Dawn was never even notified by John and Saundra Ward, she said.

"To this minute, we have not had any notification that they went out of business," Dawn said.

She found out by going online and seeing their website was gone and Google claiming the company was "closed permanently."

"If you knew you were going out of business, I feel like, why were you taking people's money?" she said.

Dawn had just made her final payment three weeks earlier. She at least had most of her job done, but she says it was not done right.

Her husband made a video where the drawers in the kitchen she had paid $150,000 for, started falling off the hinges.

Greg's job was one-third completed when John and Saundra vanished.  

"I really think it's a calculated decision to go 'We got behind, we got all this money, we know they're not going to get it out of us if they sue us, lie low for a little while  - and start again,’" Greg said.

Years ago John Ward was at Jason's wedding. Jason and John have been friends for more than 20 years.

"To do it to somebody that you personally know, that's just bad," Jason said.

Last year,  Jason gave his friend John Ward more than $50,000 down for a payment to remodel his kitchen and bathroom.  

He says John and Saundra told him business was great in April when they stopped by the auto dealership where Jason works.

"They bought a new Jeep Compass," Jason added.

He says he was told the job would start soon.

"I tried calling them and it put me right to voicemail and I said 'Where's my money?’" Jason says.

Here's a look at All in One's closed showroom it's been closed since June.

Wolchek left cards on the doors several times but never heard from John or Saundra. None of the neighbors he spoke with have seen them. None of their employees have seen them.  

The workers’ vans sit the way they were left the day they came to work and were surprised to find the business and trucks, locked up.

John Ward filed bankruptcy before, so he knows the drill. But he hasn't, to anyone's knowledge, this time.  The couple have several addresses listed as their home and Wolchek checked them out without luck.

Then, two weeks ago, while checking out a house in Fenton, Rob saw a vehicle pull out of the driveway. He didn't see the driver but he must have spotted FOX 2 tailing him because he drove in circles for about 45 minutes.

The next day Rob went to the door and was surprised when Saundra Ward opened it - but quickly closed it when she saw it was Wolchek. He left his business card on the door.

After days of watching the house, Wolchek’s cameraman got video of John Ward pulling out. Again he quickly drove off, once he realized he was being watched.

Wolchek went day after day ringing the doorbell and leaving his cards.  They would see them through the glass, but they never answered.

Last week. again, no one answered the door, but as Wolchek sat in front, someone put up a sign in the window: "I’ll call the cops." In another window John watched Rob’s reaction.

A Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy soon arrived and said since no one was doing anything wrong, Rob could stay.  

Rob and his cameraman did, with what appeared to be John watching.

Finally, Wolchek went to the door one last time. But again, he wasn't greeted.

Wolchek: "Don't you think you owe it to your customers to come out and give me an explanation?  That's a lot of money they lost."

On the commercial, he says "Hi, I'm John Ward from All in One Kitchen & Bath ... and most important, we're going to be with you hand-in-hand throughout the entire project."

"Sure you are John. Hand-in-hand right into the Hhhhhalll of Shame!"

The builder’s license for the company is held by Saundra Ward. The victims say they have filed complaints with the state licensing board, the Michigan State Police and the attorney general’s office.

FOX 2 left messages with the Wards’ attorneys but have not heard back. None of the customers say they have received any information on why the business closed - or where all that money went.