BETHANY, Okla. (KFOR) – A summer paradise is what a man living in Bethany was promised, but instead, he says he was left empty handed and out thousands of dollars.
Jonathan Oman said he was on the hunt for a pool construction company in early 2021.
He stumbled upon Bluewater Construction and Blue Paradise Pools and Spas on Facebook Marketplace.
Oman reached out and set up a time to talk with the owner of the pool construction company, Sixto Aaron Garcia Gutierrez.
“[Garcia Gutierrez] seemed very convincing that he could do a pool, showed us what we wanted, blah, blah, blah, and did a fantastic job doing a good walk through and so we decided to go with him, paid him half upfront and that was the stipulation to use him and [he] came out and within the first two, three days did a fantastic job,” said Oman.
Garcia Gutierrez was allegedly paid $15,000 up front.
Within the first month of the project, Oman said communication quickly lacked.
Oman claims he would call Garcia Gutierrez multiple times a day and would hardly ever receive a response.
Oman told KFOR Garcia Gutierrez made the excuse that the pandemic made the job of hiring contractors and purchasing concrete difficult.
In a previous conversation between News 4 and Garcia Gutierrez, he did blame the pandemic and personal circumstances as to why the job couldn’t be finished.
“I got a phone call from him [Garcia Gutierrez} and he, you know, [said] I’ve got concrete. I came home during the day and he got most of it done,” added Oman.
Garcia Gutierrez allegedly asked Oman for an additional $15,000 to finish the project. Oman paid that.
“A little upset, you know, $200, $300, you’re kind of okay. That’s no big deal. When it’s $15,000, that’s college funds. That’s finishing out your yard. We just moved in. You know, that’s a lot of things you could have done with your kids, especially during COVID. Times are hard,” said Oman.
Oman was then asked to head to a nearby pool tile store to meet Garcia Gutierrez, according to Oman.
“We showed up to a tile store, picked out a tile and called him and said, ‘Hey, are you going to come up here today?’ He said, ‘I’m at another job.’ So okay, I’m going to go and talk to the person in front of the tile store and he [a pool tile store employee] said, ‘Who’s your builder?’ And so I mentioned who the builder was and paradise pools. He said, ‘Is it Freddy Garcia?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Yeah, you’re about his eighth person who’s come in,'” recalled Oman.
After being told this, Oman immediately called Garcia Gutierrez several times and continued to be fed excuses, said Oman.
It wasn’t until Oman threatened Garcia Gutierrez with calling News 4 about the situation that he “changed his mind about coming and getting stuff done that never showed up.”
Shortly after that though, the communication completely ceased and Oman didn’t hear from Garcia Gutierrez again.
Oman’s backyard was then left a muddy pit with rebar wire strung throughout what should have been an in ground pool.
After speaking with other people Oman knew, he shortly found out that Garcia Gutierrez had allegedly done the same to others and went by different names.
In a prior conversation with Garcia Gutierrez, he explained to KFOR how sorry he was for how this situation ended up.
Garcia Gutierrez called his then-clients “great customers.”
Oman said he doesn’t believe Garcia Gutierrez is truly apologetic for what has happened, calling him a “fraud.”
Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Garcia Gutierrez.
“Oklahomans paid thousands of dollars to have pools professionally constructed on their properties. Instead, Mr. Gutierrez and his companies, Bluewater Construction and Blue Paradise Pools and Spas, conned these families, left them with poorly constructed and incomplete pools, and abandoned their projects while leaving their property in an unsafe condition. We will not tolerate these deceptive practices in Oklahoma, and my Consumer Protection Unit is taking action to stop these practices and secure relief for those harmed. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.”Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor
O’Connor is representing eight central Oklahomans who claim to have been conned by Garcia Gutierrez in a span of less than a year.
In the lawsuit, it states that Garcia Gutierrez went by several different names including Freddy, Aaron, and Sixto.
The lawsuit reveals that Garcia Gutierrez allegedly stole nearly $230,000 from these eight then-clients.
“I could care less about the money now. It’s been almost two years, but, you know, it’d be nice to see some type of funding back, but honestly, I would just like to see him possibly go to jail. Whatever needs to be done, just have some repercussion for what he’s done because he’s affected a lot of families.”One of the alleged victims, Jonathan Oman
Garcia Gutierrez claims he is working with his attorney to figure out a “fair compensation” for those impacted, but said the dollar amounts mentioned in the lawsuit are not accurate.
The Oman family is expected to be refunded $15,000, according to Garcia Gutierrez.
When News 4 spoke with Garcia Gutierrez over the phone Monday morning, he said he remembered Oman and he felt bad for what had happened between the two.
As for the other victims, Garcia Gutierrez told KFOR he plans to repay them within 60 days.
He no longer runs the pool construction company anymore as he claimed it wasn’t “worth it.”
Garcia Gutierrez now works in a sales department and said he is working on accumulating the money he needs to pay back his then-clients.
O’Connor is requesting the court to permanently enjoin and restrain Garcia Gutierrez from engaging in unfair, deceptive or misleading conduct.
He is also requesting that each then-client be paid restitution, to pay civil penalties to O’Connor in the amount of $10,000 per each violation of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act, to pay all costs for the prosecution and investigation of this matter, and to grant O’Connor further relief as the court deems proper.
Oman did complete his pool project, but with another pool construction company and with an additional $35,000.
Oman wants to warn those interested in constructing a backyard pool to thoroughly look into who they’re hiring.
Oman said Garcia Gutierrez did provide references, but now he questions the legitimacy of those.