January 28, 2004 at 3:39 PM EST - Updated June 26 at 1:23 AM
Cathi Berndt and Kathy Whitis share three things in common. They're first name, of course. They're both first-time small business owners. And they were both burned by Tim L. King, who claims to run a sign business.
"I learned a lesson the hard way," Kathy Whitis told FOX 19 Consumer Reporter Tom Sussi.
Both women did. Here's what happened.
Cathy Whitis paid Tim King $1,200 bucks to produce and install an outdoor sign for her printing business. It was a down payment. Several months went by. No sign. No refund. Nothing.
Kathy filed criminal charges. Tim King was arrested on theft charges. But the Grand Jury threw out the case. "I was very disappointed."
Same story for Cathi Berndt, who runs a small arts and crafts store. Cathi paid Tim King $306 dollars down payment for a sign. It's been over three months. And no sign of that sign or refund. So Cathi called FOX 19.
"I'd like the general public to know that this man is untrustworthy."
Tim King is also elusive. There's no business number or address on any of his contracts. In fact, the address on this police complaint is actually his ex-girlfriend's house. Sussi dropped by that house. But the woman who answered the door said King doesn't live there. "Do you know where I can find him," Sussi asked/ "Not at the moment," she said.
Tim King may have stolen the ladies' trust and money. But he didn't steal their dreams of running their own companies.
"None whatsoever," said Kathy Whitis.
Nonetheless, Tim King is worthy of a place in the "Tell, Tom Dog House!"
Since this story aired, FOX 19 has received numerous calls from others saying they were ripped off by Tim King. Police are now investigating.