Aloha woman ripped off thousands of dollars by unlicensed contra - KPTV - FOX 12

Aloha woman ripped off thousands of dollars by unlicensed contractor

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Mugshot: Howard Johnson Mugshot: Howard Johnson
ALOHA, OR (KPTV) -

An Aloha woman was ripped off for thousands of dollars by an unlicensed contractor who deputies said is a scammer and may have other victims.

Margaret Dozark and her brother hired a contractor in June to cut down trees, replace their chimney, and lay pipe for a fountain in the backyard pond.

It was a few hundred dollars here, a few hundred there that added up to more then $11,000. 

Money Dozark will never get back.

"It was hard. It was really hard for us to deal with it."

Dozark said the contractor, Howard Johnson, even offered to repair a Ford pickup and a ATV but deputies said he gave the truck to a friend he owed, and sold the quad to a stranger online.

Deputies recovered both but said Johnson found what they call a 'deep well' with Dozark and her brother, and he just kept digging.

Johnson, from Vancouver, is now in jail facing multiple charges.

"You ruined it, you ruined my confidence in people. I say, I can't trust anybody anymore."

Here are some things to keep in mind if you're hiring a contractor. Check with the Oregon Construction Contractor's Board to make sure they're licensed, never pay for the whole job up front, and get a written contract that includes a description of the work, materials, costs and start and end dates.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of crimes committed by Howard Johnson, contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

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