ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Steven Llamas was trying to do better for his family.
Llamas, an HVAC technician with eight kids says he was looking to get his journeyman's license for refrigeration to get paid a little more. When he saw an ad for the Albuquerque Career Institute, also known as The Contractors School, it looked like a good fit.
Llamas says the school asked him to pay $300 up front before starting classes, something he planned to do in January. He paid $200 of that in September.
"I went to make my last payment to start the classes and called them, called all the numbers and they're all disconnected," Llamas said. "So I went down to the school and their building's for [sale] so I couldn't get ahold of anybody."
Two separate 800 numbers and a 505 number for the school are now disconnected.
The Albuquerque Career Institute sign is still up outside of the business' location off of Wyoming Boulevard just north of Central Avenue. For-sale signs are plastered on the building with a phone number.
That number goes to the voicemail of Julian Padilla, the school's owner. He did not return several calls for comment made Friday.
The back gates of the building are locked as is the front door. A sign in a side alley says the school is closed.
"I expect a phone call or something at least, letting me know that they're closed down," Llamas said. "That's only right."
A spokesperson for the state's Higher Education Department says two people have called with concerns about the Albuquerque Career Institute so far. The institute did not have a state license because it qualified for a state exemption.
The Contractors School appeared to have locations in at least five states at one point. It's unclear if those locations are still open, but the 800 number listed for The Contractors School is disconnected.
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