NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A contractor convicted of swindling people in other states is in trouble again this time here in New Mexico. A series of lawsuits accuse realtors in his family of helping him get jobs in the east mountains.
“Essentially he began to do work, collected money from my clients then never completed the work and in fact made matters worse,” said attorney Christopher Bauman.
A group of people in the East Mountains are claiming in four separate lawsuits, they hired a man named Norman Keating to do work on their newly purchased homes but say he left them in shambles.
“My clients hired Mr. Keating who they understood was a contractor,” Bauman said. The State’s Licensing Department confirms he’s is not a licensed contractor. Christopher Bauman represents two of the lawsuits and says in 2017, one of his clients purchased their home through Coldwell Banker in Cedar Crest.
Bauman says the agent on the sale was Melanie Peak and that she recommended Keating to do renovations to the home. He said they paid him more than $30,000. He says Keating is Peak’s son-in-law.
“I’m pretty sure the mother-in-law knew the son-in-law was not a licensed contractor,” said Bauman. Keating’s wife Siobhan is also listed as an agent at Coldwell Banker.
Both mother and daughter are also named in some of the lawsuits against Norman Keating.
“Both of them would recommend him to potential clients and not mention things like he’d been convicted of fraud, defrauding earlier clients of their money,” said Floyd Wilson.
Floyd Wilson is handling the other two cases, he says one of his clients paid Keating $17,000 and was left with their bathrooms torn apart.
The lawsuits claim Keating has a long criminal record in both California and Florida for taking money as a contractor and doing little to no work. On the Better Business Bureau’s website, there are “current alerts” for Keating’s business, which is called “Excellence Companies.”
“It’s been very devastating to my clients. They’re not wealthy people,” Wilson said.
KRQE News 13 spoke to Melanie Peak. She told us these claims are false and bogus and referred us to her attorney. We couldn’t get ahold of Keating.
The State’s Regulation and Licensing Department confirms there is an open investigating into Norman Keating’s business.
The agency is also looking into a complaint filed last week against Melanie Peak and her daughter Shioban Keating.
Correction: In a previous version of this story, KRQE reported that Melanie Peak and Shioban Keating did not have a license. The Regulation and Licensing Department made an error when looking up their information. They say both women are licensed real estate agents.