Team 10: Customers outraged at Solar Company

NEW TONIGHT, SEVERAL LOCAL CUSTOMERS SAY A PROMINENT SOLAR COMPANY SUDDENLY CLOSED DOWN AND TOOK OFF WITH THEIR MONEY. GOOD EVENING. I'M KIMBERLY HUNT. >> I'M STEVE ATKINN.SO TEAM 10 INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER JENNIFER KASTNER SPOKE WITH HOMEOWNER WHO HAS SAY THEY CALL AND CALL — HOMEOWNERS WHO SAY THEY CALL AND CALL BUT NO ONE COULD HELP. >> Reporter: SULLIVAN SOLAR HAS BECOME A HOUSEHOLD NAME FOR MANY SAN DIEGANS. ITS WEBSITE US TO THE INSTALLING MORE THAN 9,000 SYSTEMS ACROSS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INCLUDING ONE FOR THE PADRES AT PETCO PARK BUT HEAD TO THEIR OFFICE IN MIRAMAR AND YOU'LL FIND A LOT FULL OF FLEET TRUCKS YET THE DOORS ARE LOCKED.

AND NO ONE IS AROUND. >> ALL THE LIGHTS ARE OFF AND EVERYTHING IS STILL THERE. YOU KNOW, THE COFFEE CUP IS STILL ON THE SINK. >> Reporter: HOMEOWNER ALLEN DASVI SAYS HE PAID SULLIVAN FOR A SYSTEM. >> THEY HEAV ABOUT $34,000 OF MY CASH. >> Reporter: BUT HE SAYS SULLIVAN NEVER PAID THE SUBCONTRACTOR WHO DID THE INSTALLATION, SO NOW HE'S LIABLE TO PAY THE SUBCONTCTORRA OR FACES A LIEN ON HIS HOUSE. WE SPOKE TO THE SUBCONTRACTOR WHO DECLINED TO COMMENT. ACCOINGRD TO THE CONTRACTOR'S STATE LICENSE BOARD, A LIEN ULD RESULT WHEN THE PRIME CONTRACTOR HASN'T PAID SUBCONTRACTORS. LEGALLY, THE HOMEOWNERS I ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT, EVEN IF THEY ALREADY HAVE PAID THE DIRECT CONTRACTOR.

>> REALLY DISAPPOINTED. >> Reporter: HOMEOWNER KEVIN HANKS SAYS HE'S IN A SIMILAR BOAT. PAID THE $45,000 FOR THE ROOF. LLIVAN DIDN'T PAY FOR THE ROOF TO THE ROOFER AND NOW I HAVE TO PAY $45,000 AGAIN. >> LOOKS LIKE EXACTLY WHAT THE FOREMAN TOLD ME WHICH IS THAT ETH OWNER OF THE COMPANY ABRUPTLY SHUT THE BUSINESS DOWN, FIRED EVERYONE, LOCKED THE DOORS AND WALKED AWAY. >> Reporter: ABC 10NEWS INTERVIEWED CEO DANUL SLIVAN ABOUT A SEPARATE STORY IN 2016.

OUR ATTEMPTS TO CONTACTIM H ABOUT THESE NEW ALLEGATIONS HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL. WE'VE REPEATEDLY CALLED AND E-MAILED THE COMPANY WITH NO REPLY. YELP, A SLEW OF ONE-STAR REVIEWS FROM ANGRY CUSTOMERS TH COMMENTS LIKE "NOW I'VE GOT TO PULL MONEY OUT OF MYHI CLD'S COLLEGE SAVINGS." "SULLIVAN IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND! THEY LEFT US HIGH AND DRY." >> JUST A VOICEMAIL. NO ONES ANSWERING THE PHONES THERE. >> E-MAILS AREN'T RETURNED. E-MAILS DIRECTLY FROM THE SITE NOT RETURNED. I EVEN TRIED TWITTER AND FACEBOOK DIRECT MESSAGING AND DI'TDN GET ANY RESPONSES FROM ANY OF THOSE THINGS. >> Reporter: WE SPOKE TO ONE OF THE SUBCONTRACTORS WHO WOULD NOT GO ON CARAME BUT VERIFIED THAT HE AND OTHER SUBCONTRACTORS HAVE NOT BEEN PAID BY SULLIVAN. HE SAID HE FEELS BAD FOR ALL OF THE CUSTOMERS. >> TAKING PEOPLE'S MONEY IS AND NOT PROVIDGIN SERVICES AND MAKING PROMISES AND, UM, JUST WALKINAWG AY FROM THAT IS JUST TERRIBLE. >> Reporter: ATTORNEY MARK MELLER SPECIALIZES IN CONSTRUCTION LAW. HE TELLS HOMEOWNERS TO CHECK ALL CONTRACTS FOR LIEN WARNINGS BEFORE SIGNING THEM AND CONSIDER GETTING A SUBCONTRACTOR TO SIGN UNCONDITIONAL LIEN WAIVER UPON PAYMENT.

THEY CAN'T FILE A LIEN FOR WORK THEY'VE BEEN PAID FOR. IF THEY REFUSE, HE SAYS, CONSIDER MAKING YOUR CHECK OUT TO BOTH THE CONTRACTOR AND SUBCONTRACTOR. >> THOSE TWO COULD FIGHT IT OUT OVER WHA TTHEY'RE BEING PAID, BECAUSE THE CONTRACTOR CAN'T CASH IT WITHOUT AN ENDORSEMENT FM THE SUBCONTRACTOR AND THE SUBCONTRACTOR CAN'T ENDORSE IT AT HIS BANK WITHOUT THE OTHER GUY SIGNING OFF. >> Reporter: JENNIFER KASTNER, C AB10NEWS. >> THE CONTRACTOR STATE LICENSE BOARD TOLD TEAM 10 IT HAS RECEIVED ADDITIONAL COMPLAINTS ABOUT SULLIVAN. THEY ARE BEING REVIEWED BY ITS SAN DIEGO INVESTIGATIVE UNIT. THE COMPLAINTS ARE NOT PUBLIC AT THIS TIME. THE BOARD DOES HAVE RESOURCES ON ITS WEBSITE TO UNDERSTAND LIEN LAWS. WE HAVE A LINK TO THAT ON.

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