Posted at: 03/24/2014 10:12 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office white collar crimes detectives are zeroing in on a plumber accused of fraud who was featured in a recent 4 On Your Side investigation.
In February, KOB-TV exposed how John Montano, owner of Superior Plumbing, is accused of defrauding customers by taking money from them, but never doing the job he was paid to do.
"I personally felt angry enough that I thought he should be arrested and thrown in jail," said Tijeras resident Sandra Schairer who reported getting swindled by Montano.
"I was blown away that he was allowed to commit this kind of theft,” said Albuquerque resident Joan Nelson who had a similar incident with Montano.
Bernalillo County White Collar Crimes Detective Russell Telles watched our story, but wasn’t surprised by what he saw.
"I had a case last summer covering the same thing your story covered," Det. Telles explained.
In June 2013, Det. Telles secured an arrest warrant for Montano. The victim in that case told investigators that Montano ran her credit card for $2,420 to fix a boiler in her home, but never showed up to do the work.
Det. Telles says the district attorney was hesitant to prosecute the single case. The DA wanted multiple victims with the same story to strengthen the case and show that Montano truly is trying to deceive people.
"On your newscast you had mentioned there were several people who he had also did this too,” Det. Telles said. “That's why I got in contact with you to see how many victims I have out there."
Catching Montano may be tricky. The 4 On Your Side Investigative Team confronted Montano in February, but it took planning. An investigative producer set up a fake house call with Montano stating that her water heater was broken, even though it really was in excellent working order.
Undercover cameras captured Montano trying to convince our producer to go with a high priced and unnecessary option. Montano also tried to convince the producer to pay for half the work upfront. Before money was exchanged, reporter Chris Ramirez stepped in and confronted Montano.
Those who feel ripped off by Montano want to see him held accountable. BCSO detective Telles promises to continue to work at criminally prosecuting him.
If you think you may have swindled by John Montano, Detective Russell Telles wants to you to get in touch with him. Call him directly at (505) 468-7333.
According to state records Superior Plumbing’s license to operate is under suspension. John Montano also operates as Superior Heating and Cooling.