Carpet Contractor Accused of Stealing, Cheating and Misleading Customers - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Carpet Contractor Accused of Stealing, Cheating and Misleading Customers

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    Contractor Accused of Stealing and Misleading Customers

    A North Texas woman says a "carpet conman" is back to his old tricks: ripping off consumers. NBC 5 Responds investigates. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019)

    As a full-time grandmother and a caregiver, the last thing Sharon Najar needed was a disaster inside her home.

    Last year, she dealt with flooding that completely ruined her carpet.

    After she saw an Empire Today commercial, Najar said she didn't waste any time.

    "I called the number in the yellow pages for Empire Carpet," she said.  "I was thinking it was the one on TV."

    But instead, Najar reached John Segovia, the owner of Empire Carpet (not Empire Today, the one on TV).

    "He told me that he wasn't that one that was on TV, but he could do me a better deal," Najar said.

    So, she hired him. But from the jump, she said she wasn't a huge fan.

    "He had broken multiple appointments," Najar said.

    When Segovia finally arrived, she said he made her mad all over again.

    "He wanted cash, up front, right away," Najar said.

    She said she refused, but did agree to pay $3,850 up front via credit card and would pay the remaining $1,250 once the job was done.

    But Najar said Segovia charged her the full $5,100.

    "I told him, 'Look, I did not agree to $5,100 up front and you need to give a credit until I see the carpet,'" she said.  "So he said, 'Well, I'll get that done. It was late. It was a mistake.'"

    Najar said she never got a credit.

    After she took a closer look at her contact, she noticed the top said Shop-At-Home Custom Floors.

    She Googled that business name and came across an NBC 5 Responds report from 2015 on John Segovia.

    Two other women said Segovia misled them too.

    They said they thought they were doing business with Empire Today.

    According to public records, Segovia is no stranger to police.

    He pleaded guilty to theft just last year in Harris County.

    According to court documents, Segovia was involved in a scheme where he gained more than $1,500 from his victim.

    The carpet giant Empire Today called John Segovia a "fake."

    In a lawsuit filed in July 2014, they claim Segovia was cashing in on the company's good name.

    A judge agreed, ordering Segovia to stop using Empire Today's "trade name," "business name" or anything "confusingly similar."

    But when NBC 5 Responds called Segovia, he answered the phone as "Empire Carpet."

    He said Najar was "dumb as hell" for thinking he was affiliated with Empire Today, and that he only rescheduled with her once because he was ill.

    Segovia said Najar instructed him to charge the full $5,100 and she just wanted to cancel so that she could give the money to her kids.

    As for the business name discrepancy, he said he legally owns the name Empire Carpet, but is in the process of changing it.

    He said if anyone is out of money, it's him, and that Najar is just an evil woman with an attitude, and he has every right to put a lien on her home.

    "I told him I hope he did because he would look like the fool that he was," Najar said.

    She said Segovia was a cheat and a liar, and warned anyone looking for carpet to stay far, far away from this carpet contractor.

    "Run," she said.

    Najar never got her carpet, so she disputed the charge with her credit card company, and thankfully that $5,100 is back in her account.

    Here's what Empire Today had to say about John Segovia and his business name:

    "Segovia has already been found in contempt for using Empire Today's good name to trick customers into giving him money for flooring he doesn't deliver. We have been working with the appropriate authorities to stop him and protect people in Texas from this fake."

    The company reminds consumers that if they're interested in Empire Today to make sure they call the national chain.

    If you need help from NBC 5 Responds, tell us your story here using our form.

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