By Mike Rush
KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KSDK) - 5 on Your Side is getting results. Because of our investigation, a man accused of taking advantage of a recent widow is forced to close the doors of his business and head to court.
5 on Your Side's Mike Rush has done a lot of research on a guy named Roberto Gallardo. Gallardo doesn't have a business license in Kirkwood. He's told Mike he doesn't need one because he doesn't have a business. But with contracts and a name, GWS and Storage, it sure seemed like a company to Mike.
So Mike notified the Kirkwood Police Department and, wouldn't you know, they agree.
You might remember the encounters Mike Rush had with Gallardo, whose family founded the now-defunct Casa Gallardo Mexican Restaurant chain.
Gallardo tried his best to avoid talking to Mike about his business dealings with Karen Richman.
Richman contacted 5 on Your Side hoping to expose Gallardo. She says about a year ago, her husband Howard, who was dying, found Gallardo on Craigslist and decided to use him to sell off some stuff.
"We were looking to downsize from a two-story home to a ranch home," Richman said.
Karen says Gallardo took about 30 items, including furniture and appliances, worth, she says the parties agreed, about $5,000.
Gallardo would store the items in his Kirkwood warehouse, sell them and they'd split the profits. In the last days before he died, Howard was trying to get the money, which Karen says Gallardo still has not given her.
"Even though I feel rather foolish I would rather pursue it than just let him continue to do this," she said.
With Mike's tip, Kirkwood police cited Gallardo for operating his business without the proper licensing. He was forced to shut down his warehouse and appear in court next month. It may not stop him, but it could serve to slow him down.
Meanwhile, Richman and another woman Mike found who says Gallardo also owes her money filed complaints with the attorney general's office, which is investigating Gallardo.