Central Texas Woman Warning Others to Beware of Local Contractor
Multiple Central Texans have accused China Spring contractor Matthew Curtis Monroe of taking their money and either not completing the work he promised or never starting at all. Now, one woman who says she was ripped off by Monroe warns that he's recently started working scams in Temple, and may be branching out as far south as Cedar Park.
Nikki Pittman of Hewitt has spent months trying to expose Monroe's alleged shady behavior. She's kept regular contact with KCEN-TV's RIssa Shaw, who recently interviewed Pittman and another alleged victim, Karen Matthews of West.
Pittman and West met on Facebook after Pittman posted a video in April in which she explained the work Monroe agreed to do for her and failed to complete after taking her money.
Matthews, who did not know PIttman at the time, was tagged in the video by a friend, and the two women, along with several other people with grievances against Monroe, have since done all they can to get the word out and warn others not to do business with Monroe.
On August 31st, KCEN reported that Monroe had been arrested for theft and jailed in McLennan County. He bonded out the day after his arrest.
KTEM News reached out to Nikki PIttman Thursday morning. She told us a friend recommended Monroe after she expressed an interest in having a Murphy bed constructed for her child.
Before meeting with Monroe, PIttman said she heard rumors that he'd been fired from his previous job at a construction firm for accepting money for unauthorized work in their name. Monroe dismissed the rumors and insisted he'd quit to start his own business.
"He needed $1,200 down for materials," Pittman told KTEM. "He told me that he is pretty quick at building, that his favorite thing to do is woodwork, and that he would have all the work done in two weeks."
However, Pittman said, she didn't hear from Monroe for a month.
"I contacted him and tried to get him to do the work that I hired him to do, and I was getting excuse after excuse."
According to Pittman, Monroe frequently used his children as an excuse, saying they were sick and he was taking them to see a doctor. Pittman said Monroe does not have custody of his children, and that he lied about them being ill.
After she posted about her frustration on social media, she said other people waiting for Monroe to complete work for them began sending her screenshots alleging that the contractor was going to the beach, traveling with his girlfriend, and visiting the WinStar casino in Oklahoma when he should have been honoring work contracts.
Frustrated, Pittman contacted Monroe again and demanded her money back or completion of the work. When Monroe dismissed her, she posted the aforementioned video, "blasting" Monroe, as she put it. Monroe reported the video to Facebook, whose administrators removed it.
However, the video continued to circulate on other pages and received thousands of views and shares.
"I had no idea so many people had seen it," Pittman said. "People came forward, saying he'd done the same thing to them."
One person alleged that Monroe removed the tiles from their bathroom, and that six months later, he still hadn't replaced them.
Two others said Monroe posed as a realtor, took $3,500 from each of them as down payment for a property that was foreclosed upon by a bank.
Most recently, Monroe allegedly took a $2,660 down payment for roofing work in Temple which he never started. When the victims demanded their money back, Monroe reportedly wrote them a hot check.
Pittman said she's heard Monroe has started branching out to Cedar Park near Austin, where she worries that people who don't know his reputation may be his next victims.
She also expressed her frustration that Monroe is able to continuously bond out of jail and continue to prey upon people.
"That's how he can continue to keep screwing people," she said. "The bond hasn't been set high enough for him to be able to remain in jail."
Pittman says the McLennan County District Attorney's Office is building a case against Monroe based upon evidence that alleged victims have turned over, and recommends that anyone who's contracted with the man and been ripped off contact police and help put a stop to the cycle.
"If anyone has had an interaction with Matt and he has taken money from them or not finished a job, they need to go to their local police department and file a report, and the report needs to be sent to the Waco DA's office."
Note: All parties named in this article are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. In the spirit of fairness and impartiality, we have reached out to Mr. Monroe's attorney and are awaiting a reply.