Out on a Limb: Landscaper says contractor never paid him after 2 weeks of work

(WSVN) - A South Florida landscaper is promised a big job with an even bigger pay day, but when it was time to cash in, he said he was left “Out on a Limb.” 7’s Brian Entin reports.

Most days, you can find Joan Perez hard at work making lawns beautiful.

He has owned JP Landscaping for 15 years. It supports his family and the workers he hires, but a job he took last year may end up destroying his business.

Joan Perez, landscaper: “Apparently, I took a wrong step. I went working up north trying to help out after the storms, and I came across some contractors.”

In February, Perez was hired to trim hundreds of trees in Naples.

Joan Perez: “It started Feb. 12. The 21st, I think we were done.”

Despite nearly two weeks of hard work, he never got paid, and figuring out who was supposed to pay was tricky.

Perez was hired by B & M Services, LLC out of Mississippi. They agreed to pay him $10,000 as soon as the job was finished. The company claimed they wired Perez the money, but he never got it.

Joan Perez: “The last time that I spoke to him, they said just to wait.”

After waiting for more than two weeks, Perez decided to contact the man overseeing the whole project. His name is Tyler Porter.

Porter agreed to mail Perez a cashier’s check and even texted him a shipping label.

The tracking number shows a label was created, but nothing was ever sent.

Perez said after that, Porter wouldn’t answer his calls or texts, so Perez contacted B & M one more time.

The owner sent this email saying, “I have asked Tyler to send me your money, and I will get it to you.”

When 7News called B & M, the owner said he didn’t have the money right now but promised to pay soon.

We also contacted Tyler Porter. He wouldn’t talk to us. Perez is now worried he’ll never get paid because he only had a verbal agreement and not a written contract.

William Robinson, attorney: “In essence, what you have is a contest of who said what happened, and it’s sometimes difficult to find out what the truth is there.”

Attorney William Robinson said contracts like these can become a problem if they don’t clearly outline each person’s responsibilities.

William Robinson: “You must be able to prove it.”

Perez believes he can prove his case but is hoping the whole mess doesn’t end up in court because he couldn’t afford the legal bills.

Joan Perez: “I mean, as it is, I have to put one of my trucks on sale now.”

Perez said the missing money has left him and his employees out on a limb.

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