‘He’s gone with our money’: Hamtramck jewelry store owner says contractor disappeared on job leaving him out $80K

Contractor says he was asked to leave

The Local 4 Defenders confronted a contractor accused of leaving a Hamtramck jewelry store in shambles.

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – The owner of Aladdin Jewelry in Hamtramck said a contractor disappeared after several down payments numbering in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The store is a mess inside. There is unfinished drywall, exposed wires, a sloppy sink out of place and the upstairs is a disaster. Zaher Murray owns the jewelry store. He has named the contractor Robert Johns with B&D Innovations in a federal complaint.

“The inside, if you go in there is all bare. The drywall, the electrical are still showing. The bathroom is not finished,” Murray said.

Murray has accused Johns of fraud. Murray said he hired Johns for a complete building renovation in July. He said Johns asked for a deposit and then started one job -- then started another job and asked for another deposit. This went on for months. Not one job has been completed.

Murray said Johns has disappeared with $80,000.

“He’s gone with our money somewhere. On vacation. I don’t know,” Murray said.

The Local 4 Defenders went to Johns’ home in Roseville. Johns did not meet with Local 4, but he did reach out on the phone. Johns said he was fired.

“I was fired off that job. He asked me to leave,” Johns said.

Then he said the job didn’t have any permits. Murray has the permits.

“He asked me to leave,” Johns said. “Over a $325 dump fee that he didn’t want to cover for the concrete that he illegally had installed in his side of his building.”

“I don’t want him to do this to anybody else. That is why I am doing this,” Murray said.

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About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.