Homeowners in Eden Prairie, Minn., are out tens of thousands of dollars after a contractor they paid and hired for home improvement projects left homes unfinished. During 2014, 14 homeowners hired David Baker, 50, of Lifestyle Basements for home improvement projects some paying him between $121,000 and $56,000 over several months. However, after homeowners saw little to no work being done on the money they paid for, they called police and filed a criminal complaint.
Baker would begin projects and then delay them saying it was due to the availability of materials and other factors. However, Baker was using the money from homeowners for other personal purposes and began to tell homeowner he had run out of money to complete their project.
From Fox 9 News:
Baker also failed to pay the subcontractors and vendors he hired for the various projects. After Baker ceased working on the projects, the unpaid subcontractors and vendors would then contact the homeowners, asking to be paid for their work and materials and often filing a lien against the property.
Nearly all of the victims ended up having to use more of their own money to pay the subcontractors and the vendors themselves, “in effect, paying twice for the same work,” according to the criminal complaint.
Baker is being charged with 14 counts of theft by swindle and 14 counts of nonpayment for improvement."