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Daughter of alleged scammer speaks out after FOX 17 story

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-29 19:25:24-04

WEST MICHIGAN -- The daughter of an alleged scammer exposed by the FOX 17 Problem Solvers reached out to FOX 17.

Doug Westen owns a company called A-1 Appliance Repair in the Grand Rapids area. He's accused of taking people's money and disappearing.

After the story on Westen aired, FOX 17 received more than a dozen emails and Facebook messages from people who said they've been scammed by him.

Jeff Duby said he gave Westen $269.34 to repair his broken stove back in March. However, Duby said the appliance repairman never did the work and ignored his calls.

One email sent to FOX 17 came from Westen's daughter, Nicole Westen Mast.

"I really wanted to (reach out to FOX 17) for other people, so maybe it won't happen again," Mast said from her home in North Carolina.

"(Westen) has been doing this for several years, scamming people, taking their money and not providing the services," Mast explained.

Mast said she worked with her father as a kid. She said, for a time, he was a legit and hardworking person.

"He loved helping people. He used to really love helping people," Mast said.

She added, "It's really sad. I'm sorry. I'm gonna cry. It's really sad, because seeing your daddy go through this…  ya know and this happening."

FOX 17 spoke with Doug Westen by phone again today.

In response to what his daughter said about him, he said he was a hardworking person for many years, but life circumstances hit him hard.

He admits to owing numerous people money and told FOX 17 he plans to pay them back by August 10th, starting with Jeff Duby. However, his own daughter isn't buying it.

"I just don't think he cares anymore what happens to him. He just doesn't care that he's getting himself in trouble, and he's hurting other people and his family," Mast said.

Monday, FOX 17 Problem Solvers exposed a rap sheet dating back to 1980, with various charges including fraud, as well as numerous warnings about Westen (and his business) online.

FOX 17 also reported that Westen's A-1 Appliance Repair was given an F rating from the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan.

Mast said her father's demons got the best of him.

"I just think he's given up," she said.

"My daddy is not going to pay nobody. He's just buying himself some time," Mast said.

Follow Darren Cunningham… also, reach out if you're affected.