ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A handful of homeowners in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho have been left with giant holes in their yards. They were supposed to be swimming pools. The Attorney General is investigating after they say their contractor left them hanging.

Rebeca Elizondo explains, “Building a pool is not cheap and so it’s expensive they’re taking us for thousands and thousands of dollars and we are getting ripped off.”

Five families say they’re getting ripped off by the same contractors. Elizondo continues, “They are hitting everybody in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, they’re moving to the Tucumcari-Santa Rosa area and they’re just scamming people.”

They all say they paid Carrillo Roofing and D&J constructions to install pools but say they never finished the job.

Celina Phelps shares, “I have a dangerous hole because I have two children, I have pets and I have a deep hole with a lot of rebar sticking out of it.” She signed a contract with D&J Constructions last May and put half the money down — $25,000. Almost a year later and all she’s left with is a hole and trashed backyard. “I’m kind of uncovering some of the issues. There seems to be a lot of conflict on who’s running the jobs,” she said. 

Phelps is an essential worker and used her COVID bonus money to do something nice for her family. “I don’t necessarily have the extra money to spend on another 10, 20, 30 thousand dollars on top of what I budgeted for it.”

Another alleged victim – Scott Melvin – is a disabled veteran who put down $30,000 for a pool he wanted to use for therapy. He says, “We’re going into almost a year and a half and I have nothing to show for it other than frustration and I’m out quite a bit of money.”

Police have investigated Demian Montes of D&J Constructions in the past for his dealings with customers. “You would think it’d just be as simple as hey let me get a refund of my money but it doesn’t work like that,” Melvin said. 

Those families have all filed complaints with the Attorney General’s office as well as the state’s Construction Industries Division. KRQE NEWS 13 tried calling the companies for comment — but did not get an answer.