National News

Valley reality TV star says she was duped for $175,000

Posted July 28

— When it comes to reality TV shows, you expect to see a lot of drama but not quite like this. A reality TV character who lives here in the Valley says she was duped by someone claiming to be a licensed contractor.

When this unlicensed contractor walked into our studio unexpectedly and asked to talk to 3 On Your Side, we were a little surprised because we've been wanting to talk to him.

"Hey Tom, you look just like your picture, how are you doing? I'm Gary Harper Channel 3," Gary Harper said.

Tom Greenwald recently got 3 On Your Side's attention after Kira Girard contacted us complaining that he left her home unsafe and in disrepair.

"It's a mess, everything's a mess," Girard said.

If she looks familiar, it's because Girard is a reality TV star. She appears on "Dance Moms," which airs on the Lifetime channel. But, she also happens to live right here in the Valley.

"I've been a part of it for about four years now. It's basically the moms get to sit on the bench and complain while the daughters are dancing," she said.

And while Girard deals with all the drama expected from a reality show, she also has plenty of real life drama.

"I would rather go deal with dance mom drama than deal with this drama that we're having to deal with here," Girard said.

Girard says her problems started back in February when she and her fiancé David Newman decided to remodel their home. So, they hired Greenwald who runs a company called Renovation Services.

Girard says she and Newman handed over a series of checks to Greenwald to begin remodeling and look at the amount of those checks.

"We have given Tom Greenwald $175,000," Girard said.

And for $175,000, the couple says they ended up with shoddy workmanship that turned out to be downright dangerous.

For example, Newman showed 3 On Your Side wiring they claim had been left exposed in different areas.

"This big clump was discovered stuffed down in the sheet rock, just like this!" Newman said.

The couple says the wiring could have easily caused a fire. And they say the rest of Greenwald's work actually had to be re-done by someone who was licensed and qualified for this work.

"This bathroom was all done and complete and we had to completely tear it down," Girard said.

Girard and Newman started looking more closely into Greenwald's background and discovered he was less than honest when it came to his contractor's license.

In fact, 3 On Your Side has learned Greenwald uses license numbers belonging to three legitimate and reputable contracting companies, but those businesses tell us they never gave him permission to use their license number.

And there's more. Girard and Newman claim Greenwald fabricated purchase orders from supply companies and then inflated the costs in order to pocket the difference.

For example, Girard says one invoice Greenwald gave her for flooring indicates he paid $19,000 when Girard says the real invoice says the cost was $10,000.

"It was a $9,000 difference. That's a 100 percent markup," Girard said.

Greenwald initially told 3 On Your Side he didn't want to speak to us on camera about Girard's complaints. However, out of the blue, that's when he showed up unannounced at our studio. Our first question was why is he claiming to be licensed on the internet but using license numbers belonging to reputable companies?

"Are you licensed and bonded? And, you say yes. And you give the license number right there," Harper said. "You cannot do that."

"Well, I see how that looks," Greenwald replied.

And then there's this: He claims to be accredited with the Better Business Bureau. That's not true.

He also says he's earned Top Awards from a home service website called HomeAdvisor, but that's also not true, and Home Advisor says he's not even affiliated with them.

And on top of all of this, here's what Greenwald had to say about those invoices where Girard claims he inflated prices.

"Looks kind of weird and fishy doesn't it?" Harper said.

"Somebody is trying to set up something. That doesn't look right at all," Greenwald said.

"This doesn't look right at all," Harper replied.

"Not at all. That doesn't mean it came from me," Greenwald said.

"Who did it come from?" asked Harper.

"I'm not going to guess because I have no idea," Greenwald said.

And at the end of our conversation, Greenwald tells us he's getting out of the remodeling business, or least says he'll do things differently in the future.

"I stopped. I'm not trying to do that. That's not my intentions, to begin with. I'm not that kind of person," Greenwald said.

"But you are because you did it," Harper said.

"That was not my intention," Greenwald said.

As for Girard, she doesn't know if her house will ever be back to normal again.

"Really do your homework before even if it is a referral because at the end of the day because I don't want anyone to be in the mess that we are right now," Girard said.

3 On Your Side has confirmed that there is an active criminal investigation being headed up by not only Phoenix police, but also the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

In the meantime, it should be noted that 3 On Your Side is aware that Girard has a conviction from 2005. Due to Girard's high-profile and celebrity status, the conviction was well-publicized on the internet and in published reports.

However, that conviction from 12 years ago is in no way affiliated with her recent contracting problem, which is why 3 On Your Side decided to pursue her issue.

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all