The beach couple, acquired by the HVAC contractor for $ 10,000, are receiving a rare payout from the state consumer protection fund

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (WAVY) – A couple who paid a contractor $ 10,000 to install a device faulty, undersized HVAC system received a payment from the Contractor Transaction Recovery Fund.

Joe and Toby Rissin hired Antwain Chatman and his company HCEC to install the system in the fall of 2018. For the next 10 months, the system never worked properly, despite frequent visits and assurances from Chatman.

The Rissins contacted 10 On Your Side and we could see Chatman on camera that he was going to solve the problems. Then he went a step further and visited the Rissins and told them he would refund their money and remove the faulty equipment. In the end, he didn’t do either, and the couple never heard from Chatman again.

The HVAC contractor says it will give the Beach couple a refund for a nearly $ 10,000 scheme. The Beach Couple takes the HVAC contractor to court

“I hate to be taken advantage of,” said Joe Rissin on Wednesday morning from his home near Virginia Wesleyan University.

The Rissins view Chatman as brave and bold, but not believable.

“I was really surprised that he came here and admitted on camera that he was wrong and then picked it up,” said Toby Rissin.

10 On Your Side told them about the state Contractor Transaction Recovery Fund in Richmond.

“You need more than” He did a bad job, “said Attorney Brian Miller, who represented the Rissins for their sovereign wealth claim. Miller says he can count the number of awards he has received over the past 30 years Fund received.

“[Chatman] clearly taken on a job he was not qualified for, but which in and of itself would not have enabled her to recover, “said Miller.

In order to win money back, the fund needs two key elements: the contractor must be licensed and the consumer must provide evidence of fraud. Chatman was licensed for Class A contractors in Virginia.

For the Rissins, the trail of evidence was a combination of text messages Chatman sent them and a series of investigative stories from 10 On Your Side.

“The video cuts that off [10 On Your Side was] able to get and the text messages he sent to Mr. Rissin, where he made all sorts of false promises, “Miller said was the evidence necessary to represent her case.

The Rissins paid a second contractor $ 16,000 for a proper system. They received the maximum of $ 20,000 from the fund but had to pay legal fees and other expenses and earned $ 13,200. Not to mention the inconvenience of being too cold in winter, too hot in summer, and spending hours chasing a contractor and dealing with documents, lawyers, and government regulators for 10 months.

But the award made Toby Rissin feel “fantastic, I’m so glad someone recommended you. I don’t know what we would have done without [10 On Your Side] and you recommended a great lawyer. “

Chatman once communicated with WAVY-TV 10 about the Rissins and several other customers who had complained about his work. We tried to contact him on Wednesday afternoon. He didn’t return our message immediately.

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