Melda O. Duckworth - Landscape Designer ECOmind Landscape/Etowah Group LLC
Cumming, Milton, Forsyth and Fulton counties in Georgia (GA)
Melda Duckworth Ecomind landscape and Etowah landscape Group LLC is a scam artist group. Do not do work with these people. She and her accomplices scammed a recent customer out of nearly $100,000 dollars!
The four people involved in this scam were Vanessa Burell, Melda Duckworth, Mike Lawson and the owner and Scam leader Tony Martin.
In December of 2022 my company was subcontracted out by Etowah Group LLC. This company was full of lies, very poor communication, overpriced and charged for services and products not installed. The amount they over charged the customer and stole from me is in excess of $100,000 dollars!
I haven't heard from either of the four people involved since they gave me a check payment and then disappeared into the night. Countless emails and phones calls and no answers after they made over $100,000 dollars off my work. They scammed me at the end too and the ring leader Tony Stewart told the others not to take any calls from me or answer any emails the moment after I received a reduced payment at the end.
Why would they not want to talk to me after we did a great job for the customer who loved the end result? They also made 100k off my work and all they did is make a phone call to my company.
Melda Duckworth made one phone call to us and we lined up the work. She said and I quote "that doesn't leave a lot of money left for my management fee" She made 100,000 off our job!
They never introduced me to their customer and got nervous, Tony's exact words when the customer wanted to talk with me. They knew their $100,000 scam might be on the line.
The customer has since cancelled the ongoing landscape maintenance plan with Ethowah Landscape Group. They cancelled it early due to poor performance and scam company.
Here are 10 ways Etowah Landscape group scammed the customer and my company.
1) Charged the customer and my company for job site clean up. Most contractors would just factor in some time for this, not Etowah, they saw a money grab so they charged the customer $5,000 for job site clean up and my company another $6,000. That's over $10,000 in job site clean up! Billed Paradise Ponds for their waste removal. They sent pictures and the pictures showed mostly their cement blocks, pine straw strings, and other debris.
2) Charged the customer for items there were not installed totaling over $15,000 thousand dollars!
3) Charged the customer for using my excavator machine. They asked if they could use it which we agreed to. They used it for no more than two hours and charged the customer $3,000 on the final bill to the owner. We didn't receive any money.
4) Deducted the full retail amount of a float valve that wasn't installed. Common sense would be if something wasn't installed it would just be removed from the final bill altogether. Not so in Etowah landscape LLC land of scams. They deducted that from my final bill, the full retail amount plus their mark up! In other words, we paid their price for a float valve that from day one we said that was not needed and we would not be installing it. Why would we get back charged for something that wasn't installed?
5) Dragged on the project until February. They never told us what day to come help and do final clean up. They told both me and the customer "We hope to be out of here by the end of the week" that was said several times from the end of December to when they finally finished in the first week of February. Our part of the job was completed before Christmas in December 2022. Here is a text from Melda Duckworth on December states "Glad you finished the water feature when the weather still a little warmer".
6) Used Paradise Ponds and Waterfalls Stones for drainage behind a boulder wall near fire pit. No compensation for material usage.
7) Lied the customer that we had worked with them before. The customer will go on record saying that they gave the impression that they had worked with my company on previous jobs. This would have ben Melda Duckworth lying to the client as she was the main point of contact.
8) Did not follow payment schedule as laid out in the contract. I had to wait 6 weeks until they got paid from the customer.
9) Charged the customer for installation of a dry creek bed and then charged for removal of the same dry creek bed. We installed the dry creek bed and Tony the ring leader said in front of four of my employees and confirmed on a phone call that we would get paid for doing that extra work. We did not receive any money, Etowah landscape group charged and got paid for the installation and removal. That's another $
10) Tony, the ring leader, wasn't present for the pre job walk thru or the final walk through. We finished third week in December. Tony had raised questions on who was responsible for certain aspects well over a month after we were completed. He arranged a final walk-thru which he did not show up for.
11) At no time during the final walk-thru or the phone call arranging the final walk-thru or any other point during the entire project was anything ever mentioned about holding money back or reducing my final payment for one thing or another. Not one mentioned of this until the surprise payment that they did't even have the balls to show up and give me, they had to have their receptionist that I never met hand it over. That afternoon Tony, the ring leader, told the others to block all my calls.