EL PASO COUNTY — A News 5 investigative report ends with results for a man who had been trying for years to prove his ex-wife was milking the court system so she could continue receiving alimony payments.
Following a 14-year marriage that ended more than a decade ago, Helga Czarbecki and her attorney filed paperwork claiming she was too sick to work and needed more alimony.
Our investigative team uncovered not only was Czarnecki working, she had no issue disclosing to our undercover cameras how much money she was making.
"It seems like an uphill battle to prove things," Greg Czarnecki, Helga's ex-husband said.
Greg and his current wife, Teresa, reached out to News 5 Investigates for help. The couple claimed Helga was not being honest in court about her employment and income.
For the last decade, Helga had been collecting alimony to help support her.
Court records show earlier this year, Helga's attorney, R. Gregory Haller, filed paperwork to not only continue spousal payments, but increase the amount Helga was receiving from $100 to $600 a month.
Combing through years of court records, we learned Helga had testimony from a former employer alleging she could no longer lift and work at a building maintenance company.
While this may have been true at some point in time, cell phone video recorded by one of Helga's next door neighbors clearly shows Helga lifting and moving a backyard water pond liner just a few days before she appeared in court for a hearing.
There's also cell phone video Teresa provided us which shows Helga dancing with a male stripper in a club.
The couple believes this footage is not indicative of a woman who is too sick to work.
"If someone could just follow her on a daily basis and see how she is when she goes to the grocery store," Teresa told News 5. "All we can do is show before and after videos of when she is not being watched, how she is, and then the videos of when she is in the courtroom, how she is."
After our original story aired, Helga called the News 5 Investigates tip line and left a voice mail.
"For one, I never said I couldn't work," Helga said.
You may find this claim odd because Helga's own attorney filed court paperwork in June 8, 2021 that specifically told the courts that Helga "could not work at all beginning the last week of May."
In a request for increased spousal payments, Helga's attorney also said his client's health has deteriorated in 2021 and continues to deteriorate at a more rapid pace.
Helga's attorney also stated that she was only caring for just one client as a caregiver due to her pain and health problems.
"If you're qualified to take care of people's loved ones, you'd think you'd be qualified to take care of yourself," Greg said.
News 5 Investigates responded to an advertisement Helga had posted on the "Nextdoor" web site for caregiving services.
Remember, Helga's attorney was trying to get the courts to increase spousal payments due to Helga's medical issues and inability to work.
To prove that Helga was capable of working and had multiple jobs, we had a KOAA employee ask Helga to meet at a local Starbucks to talk about her caregiving services.
Helga met one of our undercover employees at a local Starbucks and admitted that she cares for four clients and disclosed that one of her clients pays her $2,000 a month.
After that meeting occurred and prior to our original broadcast, we reached out to Helga through her attorney to discuss what we captured on video.
Haller declined to comment.
After this evidence came to light, we've since learned that Helga has dropped her request for alimony payments. Moving forward, Greg and Teresa don't have to pay Helga another penny.
A divorce case that had remained "open" in the court system for 13 years (since 2009), is now closed just a few months after our story uncovered the truth.
"I knew your story blew her out of the water," Teresa told News 5 in a follow up phone call.
Teresa and Greg are now in Texas, but News 5 Investigates was able to catch up with them by phone for reaction.
"There will be zero contact, not even through a third party," Teresa said. "We can't contact her and she can't contact us in anyway and that's like a quadruple blessing. Not only did everything end, but she can never contact us again."
The only verbal correspondence we've received from Helga has been through voice mail.
"You don't know anything," Helga said. "You are not a good person. You are just a selfish one and don't know nothing about me. You went off of a one-sided story and played it because you wanted it on the news."
News 5 reached out to Helga's attorney twice to get his reaction to the ending of this case.
We have not heard back.
Meanwhile, News 5 Investigates reached out one final time to Helga directly to give her a chance to explain her side of things.
"I can't talk with you," Helga said in a text message.
A subsequent message to Helga was not returned.
Need our help exposing wrongdoing or looking into a problem facing our community? Email us: News5Investigates@KOAA.com
After our story aired, News 5 received a request to testify in court at an upcoming hearing for this case. That hearing was vacated because the matter was resolved and closed before the scheduled court date. KOAA's corporate legal team responded to attorneys on this case by informing them we would continue factual reporting on this subject matter, but would not testify on behalf of either party.