Tag Archives: building contractor trust fund

How to Avoid Being Bilked by an Unscrupulous Contractor

Other than being pennywise and pound foolish there is absolutely no reason for those who are hiring a contractor to get bilked should the person they hire be unscrupulous.

Here is a story from www.mlive.com by Cole Waterman which makes me cringe:
“SAGINAW, MI — A Linwood contractor and his wife are charged with a combined 40 felonies due to prosecutors alleging they swindled a six-figure sum out of clients in seven Michigan counties.

Charles W. Riggie, 35, and Kathryn M. Riggie, 32, face 20 charges each — one count each of conducting a criminal enterprise and conspiracy to commit that crime and nine counts each of false pretenses and building contractor trust fund violations. The most serious offense is conducting a criminal enterprise, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office issued the charges against the couple on Monday, Dec. 18.

Speaking to MLive, assistant prosecutors Daniel G. Van Norman and Mark J. Gaertner said the couple operated several businesses under the names Michigan Building Supply, Busy Beaver Builders, and Tay-Live Holding Company. At different times, the businesses were headquartered in Saginaw and Bay counties.

Charles Riggie, a licensed contractor, began his criminal endeavor in the fall of 2012 and continued it through August 2013, Van Norman said. He had been hired by nine homeowners in Bay, Emmet, Huron, Oakland, Monroe, Tuscola, and Presque Isle counties to perform construction projects, mainly erecting pole barns, the prosecutors said.
Riggie performed some degree of work for the first two clients, but did nothing for the latter seven, the prosecutors continued.

“He took the money and didn’t do a thing,” Van Norman said. “In one of them, a subcontractor came out and prepped the site but after that, nothing happened. At another job, he ordered materials and the materials were delivered to the site, but they sat there forever, to the point where some of them were weathered to the point of being unusable.”
Riggie filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in late 2013, but still conducted some of his business after, prosecutors said.
In all, Riggie took more than $150,000 from the nine clients, prosecutors allege. The Riggies spent the money on various personal luxury items, they continued.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru Comments:
I promised to share how to avoid becoming a part of the situation above – performance bonding. For as little as a few hundred dollars, a legitimate contractor can acquire a performance bond (read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/07/contractor-bonding/) which will ensure the contractor will complete the job according to the contract. If they fail to perform, the performance bond guarantees no money will be lost in bringing in another contractor to complete the work.

You pay for insurance for health, your life, your vehicles, etc., why leave the construction of your new post frame building to chance?