Colorado families suing after contractor allegedly took deposits then closed business

DENVER — A contractor in Colorado is facing at least four lawsuits after customers claim they paid money for services that were never delivered. Kelsey Lyons, founder of KelsMac, LLC, is accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars from clients in deposits.

Tom and Eve Harris say they hired Lyons in the spring of 2021 to build an addition onto their daughter’s house, which they intended to live in. The couple sold their house to pay for the project and moved into a small apartment in the Denver area.

The apartment was supposed to be a temporary living situation.

“The original thing was for us to sell our house and build an addition to my daughter’s house so that in our old age we would have a place to stay and someone to take care of us,” Eve said.

Tom and Eve’s daughter, Tre Foltz, found KelsMac, LLC through an app called BuildZoom, which connects users with contractors for construction projects.

The Harrises and Foltz say their initial conversations with Lyons were pleasant and professional and that Lyons quoted them a lower price than other contractors on the app. They said they fronted $83,000 for a $390,000 project in April 2021. After that, according to the Harrises, Lyons tore down a fence in the backyard and hired an architect to work on designs. However, over the course of the summer, work stalled and Lyons left messages unanswered for weeks at a time. Communication dropped off completely in the fall.

“I feel horribly disappointed,” Eve said. “This is a gal that we had met with. We enjoyed talking with her… but she deserves to be processed. My husband is 82. I’m 76. We don’t have a lot of money. We’re living off of Social Security. So, you know, she really raked us over the coals.”

The Harrises aren’t alone. Carolyn Singer is also suing Lyons and KelsMac, LLC after a similar experience with an addition to her daughter’s house in Denver. Singer has now hired another contractor to complete the project and is fighting to get her initial deposit of more than $25,000 back.

“She knows what she did,” Singer said. “She knows she stole our money. Whether it was intentional or she got caught up, was too highly leveraged — it doesn’t matter. It’s my money. And, you know, go earn your money in an honest way.”

Both the Harrises and Singer felt they had done their due diligence, using the BuildZoom app to research several contractors and having multiple conversations with Lyons before signing contracts and putting down money for their projects. In December each received an email from Lyons, saying KelsMac, LLC had “ceased operations” and “retained counsel to wind down and close the business.”

Both families, and at least two others, have lawyered up themselves and say they’re ready to take her to court to fight for their deposits back.

“If I have to go to court in a lawsuit — hey, I’ll pay that price,” said Tom. “By God, I demand respect. Because I’m not only a senior citizen, but I’m a damn good soldier, proved in combat. And she disrespected that. And I think that hurt me more than anything else.”

Denver7 reached out to Lyons through LinkedIn for response to these accusations. She said she would not comment on pending litigation. BuildZoom also did not provide comment on this case.

Editor’s note: Denver7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at [email protected] or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact Denver7 stories here.