Ripple effect: More customers of Virginia Beach pool contractor come forward with complaints

Investigative

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Following our investigation into Artistic Pools and contractor John Jiannine which aired Wednesday, more customers contacted 10 On Your Side with similar stories.

For Erin Lohman and her family who live off Great Neck Road, a pool would have been their oasis. Instead, it was a mirage.

“I’ve never been more disappointed, disgusted, and humiliated in my entire life,” Lohman said as she stood in her yard where she had hoped by now she would have a rectangular 16×26 foot swimming pool.

Lohman met with Jiannine last July to get a pool for her, her husband and their young daughter.

“We were hoping to have the best summer ever; my daughter’s now learning to swim. I’m still shaken by the news that we heard two days ago.”

Our investigation showed several angry customers of Jiannine and his company, Artistic Pools. Given two opportunities, he refused to speak with us. Lohman had already paid him $8,000, and was about to make a second payment of $12,000 more.

“I saw the story and I said that man’s not getting another dime from me.”

Like the other customers we profiled, Lohman says Jiannine gave a professional sales presentation and said all the right things.

“(Jiannine said) ‘I’m gonna make you guys an awesome pool. I cannot wait to do this for your family,'” Lohman said.

Ann-Marie Bynum of Hickory was supposed to get a pool after paying Jiannine more than $7,000 in late 2019. Unlike other families who’ve contacted us, Bynum says she actually got $5,000 back from Jiannine, but had to spend an additional $3,000 on a pallet of brick which still sits in her driveway.

Scott Kennedy of Great Bridge says he paid Jiannine $6,300 more than a year ago and received nothing. He says he’s keeping his legal options open.

Sam Weatherly of Chesapeake signed a contract with Jiannine in late summer 2020. Work began in October with a hole being dug, framework and a pool liner, but then the work stopped, Weatherly says. He has paid Jiannine a total of more than $35,000 and is hopeful that he can reach a settlement with Jiannine.

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Erin Lohman felt she had to come forward. “I’m speaking out loud because I don’t want this to happen to other folks.”

She sent Jiannine certified mail Friday demanding her $8,000 back. After 15 days she would have the option of filing criminal charges.

Meanwhile, Liam Benincasa, Aaron Spisak and Trisha Sheehan, whose cases were included in the Wednesday report, all say they are pursuing criminal charges.

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