Arran Kitchen Design CentersJudgment of fraud, stolen money


RE: Arran Kitchen Design Centers
RE: Arran Kitchens Fort Collins, CO
RE: Steve Cox Fort Collins Colorado

On 1 August 2006, we paid Arran Kitchen Design Centers 21,750.80 for countertops and cabinets to be delivered to our home on 3 October 2006. It is now eight months since Arran Kitchen Design Centers took our money. They never delivered two items of the contract -- schedule and a layout or plan. They have not delivered any product. They do not respond to phone calls or to certified mail. They did not respond to our BBB complaint. We had to register complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and also with the State of Colorado Sales Tax Fraud department. We will also be filing a criminal complaint as they have defrauded us.

On 3 March 2007, we received a judgment of fraud against Steve Cox of Arran Kitchen Design Centers. He was ordered by the judge to pay us back our $21,750.80 plus costs. He is evading this payment. This debt to us is non dischargeable in bankruptcy.

I would caution anyone considering a kitchen improvement or remodeling job. Please take the time to do your homework, collect references, visit past jobs, and absolutely never give significant funds upfront. Of course, I would recommend against ever using this company.


  • Ca
    Caleb Patrick Apr 11, 2007

    We've had a very similar experience with Arran Kitchen Design Centers, sad to say. This is outrageous.

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Bill and Angie Otto May 02, 2007

    Arran Kitchen Design Centers - we had the same type of problem. We fortunately got out cabinetry and a check that was not rubber after about 8 months. We also did not get phone calls returned and threatened legal action via certified letter.

    Be advised the man is a crook.

    1 Votes
  • Sa
    Sarah Southcott Jun 28, 2007

    As to the previous comment. The judge actually said that it was misappropriation of funds NOT fraud. If you need a definition of that please go find a dictionary. As for not giving the payment back maybe the above should actually answer their phones and meet with the attorney that has been sent many times and has set up many appointments which to no avail the above has showed.
    I have done my research and i read the court report before i went to get my kitchen remodeled by him.

    I found Steve to be very upfront when i questioned him about the above incident and found that he was frank and did not slander the above previous clients and did not exclude himself from responsibility of his previous action. I can not believe that a crook would take responsibility for mistakes. So as for my self i believe him to be a honest man that made some mistakes, but who doesn't.

    Just so you know, as my husband is a bankruptcy lawyer and unfortunately your lawyer gave you bad information because if the business does go bankrupt you will not get your money, it's considered a business expense and well with business bankruptcy you just don't get your money back.

    0 Votes
  • Eu
    Eugene V Aug 28, 2008

    To start of with this: Steve Cox is Colorado's Best Kitchen Designer there is. Compared to him any other Kitchen supplier/Designer whether that's a "custom" or a "Big Box Store" is a joke. I know Steve Cox very well and have completed many gorgeous and sound kitchen deals with him. I have followed this case closely over the last year and this is a very typical case of distorting the truth. Admittedly Steve Cox has made business mistakes, but then also he proved in court that certain allegations were fabricated and he was not guilty off. The Simske family has a history of being a very hard client to work with in the world of contractors. There is nothing worse for a contractor to have to go through many change orders which simply means that the client can't make up their mind or challenges the solution of a professional. It also means that the process get drawn out and the client perceives that there is no communication. This slows down the building process and eats into the, typical slim profit margin. In this case Arran Kitchen Design Centers was this families chance to make it their mission in life to shut down this company by applying this "Wal-Mart" attitude. In this mind set this family refused to collect an initial refund check from Mr. Cox and it was their choice to take this to court and destroy an excellent, though struggling business (but then the current economy has not been good to any construction company.. period) and a highly regarded family in the community and his church. The judge told the Simske's that Mr. Cox was NOT guilty of theft or was a crook but did misappropriate funds (simply to keep his family in a home). In that regard Sarah's (and yes she's is Mr. Cox’s daughter) above statement is still correct (I checked with my attorney) and CANNOT be ignored because it was so explained to the Simske's by the judge, and I hope that the Simske's will own up to this fact.
    The Simske's are not the victim. Mr. Cox could have declared bankruptcy, but always chose to do the right thing and to finish the project or refund (in payments) the deposit JUST LIKE HE OFFERED THE SIMSKE'S. I hope the Simske's feel proud of themselves having destroyed a great businessman, his business and his family. It is hard to payback a debt and catch up with Tax payments when a family like the Simske's posts SEVERAL websites and screams "bloody murder" and displays incorrect information and half truths. Maybe it would have been better for Mr. Cox to declare bankruptcy (like so many other businesses do when they struggle as badly as he has). He could have simply started up a new business and start from scratch...but he didn't because he didn't want to put a family like the Simske's $21K in the hole...who really has the right morals principals anyway. It's really Mr. Cox who understands the Bible and it's message.
    Anyway I must congratulate the Simske's on their crusade..and that's exactly what it is. Also I can't help thinking they had some help or lets say "extra motivation" from the judicial system to try to put a innocent man in most likely jail. Mr. Cox made mistakes and would have made arrangements with the IRS. Maybe he would still have lost his business and pay back for a long time but honestly... trying to sent a man to jail and depriving opportunities for this man to payback his debt and taking care of his family...The Simske's would have been excellent members of the Spanish inquisition back in the 1400's.
    Finally I want to put a message of warning out to all Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming Contractors. Be warned about the Simske's and families like them and their personality trades. Educate yourself to find out upfront on how to recognize this kind of personality. Take a Psychology course. I know it sounds weird but it can really keep you out of a nasty situation. It's a fine line but when in doubt, bid the job and really jack up the margins or WALK AWAY!! Be sure to have your contract more then Squeaky clean and document and record every communication you have. These kind of people lie and have lost any sense of reason. Be prepared to walk away. You might think you make money but will most likely lose your business or even worse...
    Here's my recommendation. If you read this blog and need a kitchen buy it from Arran Kitchen Design Centers. And this is why...You need a great kitchen and you'll get the best available...Mr. Cox needs to pay off the Simske's to be able to stay in business. I know that we as vendors and contractors not always can choose the kind of client but please try to identify and pick up the signals. It's people like the Simske's that made "Wal-Mart" big with their "I bought it but didn't think, so I don't like it and want my money back with out any arguments" attitude. Are we still in High school? Mr. Cox will take the consequences of his mistakes I'm not sure if the Simske's are far enough in life to be able to...Time will tell.
    As I post this comment I can only expect a smug remark from the Simske's just like they did with Sarah Southcott's comments; Ostracize from the truth and reality and that would be fine and really prove of their intentions and attitude in life.
    Eugene V

    -1 Votes
  • Ca
    caleb patrick Nov 21, 2008

    Steven William Cox has been convicted, as of May 2008, of
    nine felonies including both felony fraud and felony tax
    fraud. Investigations by the FBI and Postal Fraud Offices
    continue on further charges. He is a convicted felon.

    This can be verified by a visit to Fort Collins
    Police Services at 2221 Timberline Road, Fort Collins, CO

    1 Votes
  • Sa
    Sarah Southcott Feb 12, 2009

    All of this is in the repeal process.
    as for Caleb Patrick he is a made up alias and was never a customer of steven cox. The other families mentioned are ruthless and heartless people who will at any chance and any comment that you make will investigate you. I am steven Cox's daughter, I am married and live in idaho and they have hired a private investigator to investigate me and my family to find out about me. They really are on a head hunt and with the corruption in the Fort Collins Police and Judicial System they are certainly getting help from them. The families that have taken my dad to court are the only ones of my knowledge that have had these issues with my dad. now granted i a somewhat biased but My father has never been dishonest, he has definitely made mistake of which he always takes responsibility and tries to rectify the situation to the best of his abilities. My father is honest at times he is too honest.
    I truly believe that these people because my family are immigrants and belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and previous prejudices have decided to use my Father as an example.

    As for my family we are doing well. we appreciate all the support that is given to us. thank you

    0 Votes
  • We
    wendycpa Apr 02, 2009

    We had the same thing happen to us with Gerard Holbach of Le Chef Kitchen Design LLC from Olive Branch, MS. We contracted with him to provide kitchen design and purchase our cabinets. He took our money and never even ordered the cabinets. We got a garnishment against him and are now in the process of filing criminal charges. There are many many others he has stolen from. As for the family responses above, shame on you! I know that we personally saved for years to have our kitchen remodeled only to have Gerard steal it. I could care less if you theives have families to raise. So do the rest of us, and stealing is not way most people accomplish it.

    1 Votes
  • An
    andy C May 22, 2010

    Its amazing what you find out in the net...pmsl

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    safetyfirst80525 Sep 23, 2010

    On recommendation from the Fort Collins Police Department, Complaints Board has been contacted and requested to remove comments to this complaint that reference minor children, threaten minor children, and slander with purported ethnic and religious persecution.

    The facts of the case including the ordered restitution to multiple victims and are accessible at 201 LaPorte Avenue Fort Collins, CO in the files of the Larimer County Courts case number D0352007CR001352. Transcripts of Judgment are accessible to the public: including the multiple judgments filed against the defendant.

    0 Votes

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