CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On tonight's Troubleshooters, contestants in a pageant held 8 months ago, claim they still haven't received the cash prizes the pageant organizer advertised they would get.
Not only that, the night of the pageant, the contestant declared the winner, was stripped of her title, because the scores were allegedly miscalculated.
In January, Morgan Barber and Rozlin Gomez finished first and second in the 5th annual Women of Ink pageant at the House of Rock.
But what should have been a celebration for Barber, turned ugly, fast.
"That was an instant moment where chaos just struck. People were booing. They were really upset," she told the Troubleshooters.
"At that point, I get bombarded by people," Gomez said. "People were coming up to me telling me 'you got robbed."
The Women of Ink pageant is an opportunity for women to showcase the beauty of the artwork on their bodies.
The winner gets a $1000.00 cash prize.
"So I do get a check," Barber told us. "And once everything had kind of gone downhill, he told me that if I tried to cash the check, it's not gonna go thru. Who told you that ? Tony Martinez."
Tony Martinez is the event organizer.
Sensing something wasn't quite adding up, he told the Troubleshooters, he went back the next day and recounted the judges votes.
And there was a significant increase in Gomez's numbers.
" 24 hours later, I get a phone call from Tony, and he said, 'I recounted, and there was a mess-up in the scores, and you actually won 1st place."
Gomez says she's has accumulated all this artwork over the years, but admitted, she had never even 'placed' in previous pageants.
But both women say they called us for help because, 8 months later, they still haven't received their prize money.
Barber claiming Martinez still owes her $150.00 for finishing in 2nd.
Gomez claiming Martinez just started making weekly payments to her, as they both agreed to, so he could pay the other contestants the night of the pageant.
"It will probably be smaller payments at first, but then larger as I get out of that hole, until she's paid in full," Martinez told the Troubleshooters by phone
But in talking further with Martinez, you get the sense there is some bad blood between him and Gomez.
"She would have been the last person I would have wanted to win. I'll be very straight up with with you. Rozlin, I've known her for years. She is not one of my favorite people. In fact nobody I know likes her. she's full of drama.
We have reported other stories involving Tony Martinez on this television station in the past.
He is no stranger to pageants and controversy.