August 22, 2018 11:58 AM
More homeowners have come forward claiming Crossroads Remodeling, run by Richard Wooton, took their money and either didn't start or finish projects.
The running total is around $500,000 over the past year.
The total is now up to 45 families living in Rogers, Albertville, St. Michael, Maple Grove, Otsego, Nowthen and other communities in Wright and Stearns counties.
This week, many customers like Benjamin Anaya, Jr., received a letter from the legal firm representing Crossroads. On the company's website, state documents and in-person to customers, Wooton allegedly posed as the owner, even though the business license was in his wife's name, Debbie Larson-Wooton and a friend's, Mike Sohre.
The construction company voluntarily surrendered its license, according to the Department of Labor and Industry, which oversees the construction industry licensing.
"Basically they don't plan to continue to operate," according to Charlie Durenberger.
The company's website has been taken down and voicemail on the company's phone states it's no longer doing business.
The notice signed by Pat O'Donnell states:
We regret to inform you that Crossroads is no longer able to perform any further work on your project. While this firm does not represent you, it is our understanding you may be owed funds for work that Crossroads cannot complete. Please understand that it is the desire of Crossroads that you be made as whole as possible.
The letter also encouraged folks to submit a claim to the state-run 'Contractor Recovery Fund,' and/or be paid through other available options.
"Since a judgment is required to submit a claim to the CRF, Crossroads Remodeling, LLC is offering a Confession of Judgment to support valid claims," said O'Donnell.
The CRF is a fee that contractors pay when they apply for a new license or renewal. The money is meant to compensate homeowners who suffer a loss because of other contractors misconduct. The total of $300,000 would be distributed evenly among homeowner victims.
Anaya, Jr. shook his head in disbelief.
"Based on all the money owed, no one is going to be made whole, we get pennies on the dollar," he said.
Anaya Jr. is out $16,000 and a deck that still doesn't exist.
Wooton is a convicted felon, who has served prison time for financial crimes. He already owes the state $90,000 in fines for previous violations.
The Department of L & I said Crossroads was only granted a license, based on the condition that Wooton does not have a supervisory or financial role. Multiple calls, texts, emails and visits to Wooton, his wife, and the couple's home have gone unanswered.
Updated: August 22, 2018 11:58 AM
Created: August 21, 2018 10:08 PM
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