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Detectives: Woman Hired as Interior Designer Got Money, Never Did Any Work

SHINGLE SPRINGS -- It's a tale of two Lisas.

"The garage out there, so here will become the game room so people can play here and the outdoor kitchen there, and the pool here," said Lisa Chen, the "Lisa" in this story whose Shingle Springs home still doesn't have all those amenities she planned for years ago.

The other "Lisa" is the one just arrested for taking $20,000 for being the project manager on that massive remodel that was never done.

"She was quite charming, it's like she knows a lot," said Chen, detailing one of her frustrations.

In 2014 -- nine years after she and her husband bought a spectacular spot with a view from Carmichael native and former Mariners pitcher Chris Bosio, they decided they wanted to make it even more fabulous.

Their pool contractor recommended the Roseville location of the interior design firm Le Petit Chateau.

The Chens say the owner there -- Debbie Nelson-Motell --  assigned the now-arrested other Lisa in this saga -- Lisa Briggs-Smith -- to be the family's project manager.

Briggs-Smith was also supposed to redesign one downstairs bathroom in the main house.

Le Petit Chateau required the Chens to pay 40 percent of the $50,000 job -- $20,000 -- when they signed their contract with the company on April 30, 2014.

Problems started soon after.

"She said she needed one more week, two more weeks, and then disappear," said Chen

"The way she lies, it's just not normal," said Lisa Chen's husband, Jason.

The Chens' home shows no work was ever done and they maintain no designs have ever been delivered since 2014.

They tried to be understanding.

"She has some trouble in her house, the husband has some issue, like that, and she say she needs more time to give me drawings. We kind of put everything on hold waiting for that," said Lisa Chen.

But this year patience ran out.

"It's just ridiculous," said Jason Chen.

When pressing Le Petit Chateau's owner Debbie Nelson-Motell for a refund,  they say she blamed Briggs-Smith and would only offer $6,000 worth of in-kind compensation like bedding and luxury towels.

Just this year they got $3,000 in cash from Briggs-Smith after a tearful phone call and then they learned Placer County deputies put the cuffs on her for scamming them and a host of other families.

"When I saw this I just think, this is wrong, you don't do that," said Jason Chen. "The fact that she betrayed our trust is not a good thing to do."

Now that she's out on bail accused of being everything but a designing woman, FOX40 tried to get Briggs-Smith's side of all this and found out only that she's pretty good with doors.

She loudly closed her front one in our face when we asked for comment.

FOX40 also reached out to Debbie Nelson-Motell of Le Petit Chateau and have yet to get a response.