A man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from Eastside customers in an air duct cleaning scam.
When the suspect failed to appear in court, authorities worried that his dirty work may not be done.
Lila Mullen had no idea this man, who came to clean her air ducts, was about to turn her bank account into dust.
“Eli gave me a hug and said you’re such a nice lady,” said homeowner Lila Mullen.
Police say Eliraz Shriki has hugged and scammed several nice ladies after promising a $60 air duct cleaning.
“He would get through the door and then these prices would go from $60 to several thousand dollars and $4,000 for very basic services,” detective Ray Lofink said.
Bellevue Police Detective Ray Lofink says he found Mullen while investigating at least five other cases involving Shriki.
He’s been charged with four counts of theft and one count of attempted theft.
“I’m not even convinced the services were performed in a minimum acceptable level,” Lofink said.
And in Mullen’s case “they really didn’t clean the furnace at all,” she said.
Instead, she got hit for a $2,000 air duct cleaning.
When Mullen saw the bill – “I fainted, that scared me. I told him, ‘I don’t have it,’” Mullen said.
That didn’t stop Shriki. He came back and installed a UV light cleaning system.
He charged Mullen $1,100 for a UV unit. Shriki inserted two bad holes. One in the wall for wiring, which is an extension cord, and the other hole to connect the UV unit.
“They got away with doing something like this, especially putting a hole in the furnace. It’s gas. I’m not going to mess with it,” said Mullen’s daughter, Patricia Mahrberg.
Detective Lofink says the device sells for $100 to $250.
When Mahrberg discovered what happened to her mother, the deal was already done.
So she decided to call Shriki.
“He starts yelling at me. I’m like, ‘Whatever, dude … let’s go to court,’” said Mahrberg. “I was upset. I told him my mother is 82 and it wasn’t right for you to take advantage of her for something like this. She hasn’t got this kind of money.”
Shriki refunded Mullen $300 and then skipped out on his court date.
His business address is a non-existent one near the aquarium.
“I could never find it,” Lofink said.
Bottom line: Never accept a phone solicitation for air duct cleaning. Ask the company who installed the furnace for a reference.
“It really upset me for a long time,” Mullen said.
She can’t wait until the day Shriki pays and says she wants him to go to jail.
“I hope he does and gets punished good,” Mullen said.
I tried to call Shriki’s business, Green Quality Air, and the number was disconnected.
Any offer made over the phone, is a no!