They did everything right, saved money in advance and did their homework to work with a reputable company. But now a local family is out $6,000, and the man responsible is nowhere to be found.
They were left with a gutted kitchen, and apparently they are not alone.
"This was all counter space, a corner unit," homeowner Kerry Brito said, walking through his empty kitchen.
Brito isn't talking about the kitchen he is getting but the one he would have gotten had the company he paid done the work they promised to do more than two weeks ago.
"The first of August came around, and the contractor and the guy showed up for the install, and no cabinets," Brito said.
After years of saving per the Dave Ramsey method, Brito and his wife hired a Hendersonville company called Buy Cabinets Direct to help them create their dream kitchen. Though they paid nearly $6,000 for the cabinets up front, they now sit in a room that's gutted and have no clue where to turn next.
"He's got about six or seven numbers out there on the internet. I've left messages on several of those, and I've driven by his showroom, but he's just disappeared into thin air," Brito said.
Joseph Ackerman is the owner of Buy Cabinets Direct. Channel 4 News tried contacting him at the numbers listed for his business and home office, but each time resulted in a recorded answering machine message.
Brito said he isn't sure what is worse - losing his money or being stuck without a place to cook.
"My wife, this was going to be her dream kitchen, so it's been hard on her. And we have a 1 1/2-year-old, so not having a kitchen in the house is definitely a challenge," Brito said.
The Britos said they have given up on getting their money, but they do want to see Ackerman, a man they trusted, brought to justice.
"He looked legitimate. He was a sharp, likeable guy. Everything looked great and looked like it was on the up and up," Brito said.
Several law enforcement agencies are investigating, including Goodlettsville police, Hendersonville police and the Sumner County Sheriff's Office.
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Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:54:07 GMT
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