A preliminary charge of home improvement fraud has been filed against a Solsberry man, Kyle J. Bailey, following a lengthy investigation by the Greene County Sheriff's Department.
The investigation began last May when a homeowner in eastern Greene County, Chris Crecelius, contacted the sheriff's department saying he had signed contracts with Bailey, who represented himself as being bonded and insured, and had paid a substantial amount of money to Bailey, but the work had not been completed.
Court documents indicate three contracts were signed: The first on March 3, 2012 for removal and replacement of the roof and siding on a garage at a total cost of $7,500 with $4,100 due at signing and the rest upon completion; the second on March 16, 2012 for removal and replacement of the roof and siding on a house as well as other minor improvements for a total cost of $12,500 with $6,250 paid prior to the start of work and the balance upon completion; and the third on April 10, 2012 to repair a back wall for $3,000 to be paid at signing; with a verbal agreement to complete the projects prior to Crecelius's son returning from military service in Afghanistan -- May 17, 2012.
GCSD Deputy James O'Malley determined construction improvements had been started on both the home and garage and the last day Bailey worked on it was May 3.
O'Malley stated in an affidavit that as of May 2012, the garage roof had been partially removed by Bailey and was leaking when it rains, damaging the interior walls.
O'Malley said he spoke with Bailey on May 16 and he said he was insured and bonded, also that he was working several job sites and had been unable to complete the Crecelius job -- Bailey reported he had issues with workers not showing up, and he also said he did not guarantee a completion date nor was a completion date specified in the contracts.
The total amount due for all improvements was $23,000 and Crecelius provided receipts showing payments made to Bailey for a total of $16,750 with the last disbursement on April 25.
"Kyle Bailey was incarcerated for some time thereafter due to unrelated criminal matters," wrote O'Malley in an affidavit filed this week.
"Bailey never finished the Crecelius home improvement project. Chris Crecelius' property suffered damage as a result of Bailey's failure to complete the project."
In December, Bailey again allegedly told the deputy that he was bonded and insured -- by an insurance agency in Bloomington. But when the deputy checked out that story, he received a letter from the agency stating Bailey had inquired about the cost of insurance and was given a quote in January of 2012 but never returned the call to review the coverage. They said both Kyle Bailey and Bailey and Sons Construction had not been past clients and were not present clients of their agency.
The case was filed in Greene Superior Court on Jan. 14 with probable cause approved by the judge. Home improvement fraud is a criminal matter -- a class A misdemeanor. The court issued a summons ordering Bailey to appear in court for a hearing on Feb. 15.