GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A judge says there is enough evidence to send an East Grand Rapids contractor to trial for allegedly taking clients’ money but never finishing the work he was hired to do.
“January rolled into February,” Christus Tesseriss told the court. “We started having concerns that there was no money there.”
The homeowners say they’re out about $100,000 each, adding together what they paid Stoltz and what they had to pay other contractors to complete the work.
The homeowners said they trusted Stoltz because his children went to school with theirs and he had a good reputation in the community.
“It’s really tough to talk about, ’cause this is where I feel like I was a fool — when I gave him money because we trusted him,” Paul Hegele said.
At the time, Stoltz was a member of the East Grand Rapids Construction Board of Appeals. He has since been removed from that board.
Stoltz faces trial on two counts of larceny by conversion and one count of bad check writing. All three charges are felonies, the most serious of which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
East Grand Rapids investigators have said there were more potential victims who decided not to pursue charges for various reasons.