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Family says they were scammed by dog breeder who was also a defendant on ‘Judge Judy’

Family says they were scammed by dog breeder who was also a defendant on 'Judge Judy'
Family says they were scammed by dog breeder who was also a defendant on 'Judge Judy' (WBBM)

Palatine, IL (WBBM) -- Chandra Klem comes from a family of dog breeders, and people trusted her – putting down large payments for the dogs they wanted.

But some said they never got a dog, or they got the wrong dog.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar did some digging and found the suspected scammer in, of all places, an appearance on “Judge Judy.”

“This was perfect. This was a perfect match. It couldn’t have been any better,” said Maryanne Calvillo, “and it turned out to be an absolute nightmare.”

Calvillo, her husband Alfredo, and their daughter Gianna, fell in love with a litter of Rottweiler puppies. Little Gianna was counting down the days until one of them was hers

Breeder Chandra Klem of Rodsden Rottweilers from St. Charles is whom the Calvillo’s paid a $500 deposit to for a Rottweiler puppy.

After all, Chandra Klem’s grandmother, Joan Klem, is a widely-respected Rottweiler breeder – regarded as one of the best.

“We gave her $500 and our puppy was supposed to be $1,895,” Calvillo said.

But when it came time to deliver the puppy in the picture, Calvillo said she got excuse after excuse – and never got the puppy, or her money.

“It’s bad enough for it to happen to us, but for it to happen to a child,” she said.

Meanwhile, Chandra Klem showed up, of all places, on a February episode of “Judge Judy.” She was accused there of the same scheme – taking money for a dog and never delivering.

Judge Judy ruled against Klem.

Klem has also had unrelated legal troubles before. She booked in Kane County for aggravated identity theft and illegal use of a credit card, and an out-of-state forgery warrant.

“Obviously, I would like to have my money back – but stop doing this,” Calvillo said. “What you are doing online is not right and you need to stop.”

Calvillo did take to Facebook to write about her experience with Klem.

Meanwhile, De Mar talked to Klem on Wednesday and she said she tried giving a refund, but after Calvillo spoke publically, Klem chose not to refund her as her contract allows. Klem declined to be interviewed on camera, and as of early Wednesday evening, the Rodsden Rottweilers Facebook page had been deactivated.

Klem’s full statement is below:

“Rodsden Rottweiler’s has been a pioneer in the breed. Our kennel is the longest registered Rottweiler Kennel into the United States in business since 1949. We have had hundreds of happy and repeat clients over the years. We have very strict standards for both bloodlines and buyers and have always operated with the best interest of the breed at heart.

“In response to Maryannes claims

Ms. Cavillo backed out of her contract to purchase the puppy that was reserved for her at the last minute. The puppy did have a minor and common illness which it had medication for. Though not contractually obligated to and having limited means, I was working on getting her a refund when she set off on a smear campaign contacting my clients and other breeders as well as through a social media campaign. At that point, I chose to stick to the contract due to the financial harm she caused. As with any breeding, there is no guarantee how many, if any, puppies will be born. This makes cash flow a challenge.”