News 5 Investigates: Couple arrested after trying to collect money from contractor

Posted at 9:56 AM, Apr 20, 2017
and last updated 2018-08-09 11:58:01-04

A couple from Florissant paid a Colorado Springs contractor thousands of dollars for home repairs, but he never finished the job.

Randy Love and his wife gave nearly $20,000 to Todd Braudis, but after he stopped showing up and didn’t answer the phone, the Love’s went to his business which just so happened to be inside his home.

The Love’s were hoping Braudis would either keep his end of the deal or refund their cash but instead, Randy and his wife were arrested.

“He tore out my stove hood and now I have a new hood that Mr. Braudis was supposed to put back in but he never came back,” Randy Love said.

Love has a laundry list of unfinished work after hiring Braudis last summer.

“He asked for a check and we gave him a check,” Love said.

Records obtained by News 5 Investigates show Randy and his wife wrote Braudis thousands of dollars worth of checks for electrical and plumbing work, a new roof, floor and skirting around their mobile home.

“He (Braudis) was real cooperative the first two weeks as the checks started rolling out,” Love said.

Love says Braudis did finish the roof, but that’s about it!

“If you walk right here in kitchen, you’ll see that you’ll actually start sinking so I don’t know what he did,” Love said.

The flooring Braudis installed is not level which we verified by placing a ball in the center of the kitchen and watched as it quickly rolled down toward the cabinets.

Also, a portion of the wood floor was cut uneven.

More problems surfaced in the Love’s bedroom.

“Don’t dare put the fan on high,” Love said.

The bedroom ceiling fan was not balanced properly and makes loud noises, even on the lowest fan setting.

“For the bathtub faucets here, Braudis took a hammer and blasts a hole in the wall,” Love said.

Braudis needed to access to the water pipes after installing a new tub, but instead of sealing the hole with sheet rock and then adding wallpaper, Braudis believed nailing a piece of sheet rock to the wall was acceptable.

“This outlet doesn’t even work,” Love explained as he walked us around outside.

Love says Braudis was supposed to fix outlets and repair a furnace, but News 5 Investigates discovered Braudis is not a licensed electrician.

According to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Braudis is only a licensed “plumber’s apprentice”.

The Love’s admitted they never checked Braudis’ background before cutting him a check.

After numerous text messages and phone calls went unanswered, Braudis finally texted Mr. Love asking him not to talk with him anymore and requesting he not come by his house.

Mr. Love did some research on the Internet and found Braudis had listed his business address on Corona Street in Colorado Springs.

It wasn’t until the couple drove down that they discovered his business address was also his home—and this is where everything spiraled downhill.

“I walked up to the house, knocked on the door and backed away to the sidewalk,” Love stated.

Investigative reporter Eric Ross asked, “So when you knocked on the door, Mr. Braudis didn’t come out?”

“No,” Love said.

Ross asked, “Did his wife ever come out?”

“No,” he replied.

Moments after knocking on the door, a man rolled up in an SUV.

The man inside was Braudis’ friend who was an off-duty Colorado Springs police officer.

“He flashed a badge at us but he wouldn’t give us his badge number or name,” Love said.

Police confirm the officer was on his way to Mr. Braudis’ home for a birthday party.

When the officer arrived, he asked the couple to leave.

The couple left before on-duty officers arrived.

Four days later, Randy and his wife were officially served with criminal trespass charges.

Meantime, the Love’s sued for their money back and won $7,000. To-date, they haven’t seen a penny of their money back.

Colorado Springs police warned the Love’s that if they returned to Braudis’ home for any reason, they could face felony charges.

Investigative reporter Eric Ross went to Braudis’ home to try and get answers for them.

Ross asked, “Can we talk to you?”

“No,” Braudis replied through the door.

Ross responded, “We want to know when you plan on returning the money a judge says you owe the Love’s.”

“If you knew the full story you probably wouldn’t be here,” Braudis said.

“Well we are trying to get your side of the story so we have all the facts,” Ross responded.

“Ugh….no,” Braudis said.

“Okay, well if you change your mind, I’m going to leave a business card on your door and you can call me,” Ross said.

Instead of opening the door and talking with News 5, Braudis called the police.

Two Colorado Springs police officers responded 45 minutes later, but Braudis refused to give them a statement, so they left.

“Mr. Braudis has made no effort to pay us anything,” Love said.

Love and his wife are still working to get the money they’re owed, while living everyday in a home they say is in disrepair.

The $7,000 judgment in the Love’s favor was ordered back in February.

Randy Love just filed court paperwork to garnish Braudis’ wages in an effort to get some of the money back.

However, the Love’s are still facing trespassing charges for going to Braudis’ home. They have a pre-trial hearing in May.

An internal investigation was launched into the off-duty officer’s actions. The investigation is now closed and police records state there was no evidence the off-duty officer violated any department policies.