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DALLAS - Fuller Homes of Dallas collected tens of thousands of dollars from scores of families in North Texas, promising to build them homes on a model similar to Habitat for Humanity.
Fuller fundraisers took in $1,800 deposits as "escrow" money. No homes were ever built, and clients have been waiting for their refunds for years in some cases.
In some cases, clients have been promised refunds for years. Three times this year, the money was supposed to be given back, including on Thursday.
Founder Margaret Noguera has not been able to explain her departure from Dallas months ago. She returned on Thursday to tell her clients she could not give them their money because she "landed at the airport and this big rain came down" delaying her from getting to her bank.
Once there, she said "the lady" who oversees her account was not there. Rev. Kim Anding, Noguera's business partner, did not speak to restive clients.
Some of the clients had been waiting for Noguera to show up for hours at a church in East Dallas, which had donated office space to the project.
"Give us our money back" client Kelli Price told Noguera.
"Please, sister," Noguera responded.
"I'm not your sister," Price answered. "Sisters don't treat each other that way."
Noguera eventually told the clients there would be no money today.
"This looks shady," said a skeptical Kathy Brown.
Noguera said she had new plans to build the houses and has a new website, Noguera 2.0. Kim Anding is listed as the CEO. The address traces to a playground in New York City.