Family of boy with special needs out more than $1,000 after pool guy doesn't deliver

NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. — A Northbridge family says they paid a man to install a pool for their son with special needs.

They paid in full, but never got the pool.

FOX25 Investigates found the 'pool guy' has several complaints against his business and a history of stealing people's money.

The family filed a report with Northbridge police Tuesday after the pool was supposed to go in last week.

But they said their main goal is to prevent others from making the mistake they did and trusting the man would do the job they paid him for.

Zack Marston is 14 years old and has cerebral palsy.

Water therapy is the best thing to help relax his tense muscles.

“My son needs that therapy and without a pool, I can’t get it done,” his father, Mike Marston, told FOX25.

So Mike and Brooke Marston set out this winter to purchase a pool for the backyard.

They say they found New England Pools and Liners online and contacted Jeff Trifone.

“I asked a lot of questions about them and he did seem to really know what he was talking about,” Mike said.

They said Trifone came to survey the backyard, which mike had already starting preparing for installation and they paid him little by little.

“He told me the pool needed to be paid in full before he could get the pool delivered to my house,” said Mike.

Ultimately, they paid close to $1,100 and even signed a contract.

The pool was set to be delivered and installed last week, but Trifone never showed.

“I don’t hear nothing from him,” said Mike. “Brooke starts doing research and finding all kinds of stuff that he's been doing this to all kinds of people."

FOX25 went to Dudley District Court and found 29 entries under Trifone’s name.

They include the several cases for writing bad checks, advertising fake apartments for rent on Craigslist and fraudulently soliciting for charity donations.

We called, emailed and reached out to Trifone via Facebook, but only received one text message back saying, “we were wrong.”

The business address on the contract was 33 Litchfield St. in Worcester, but that address doesn’t exist.

Now the Marston's say they hope what happened to them can be a warning to others.

“We should have done more research,” Brooke? said. “Whether we get our money back or not, people need to know because it's in this area.”

They aren't sure what will come of the hole in their yard that sits waiting for a pool for Zack.

FOX25 Investigates also checked with the attorney general. The office says they have seven complaints against Trifone's businesses since 2011.

Since we started calling Trifone, he did process a PayPal refund for about $300 that will take 24 hours to clear.