A Doylestown Township guy has been charged with defrauding a couple of Tinicum homeowners of $126,000 via domestic improvement fraud and investment schemes.
Luther Kohler Bates Jr., seventy four, of Old Dublin Pike, was arraigned April 30 on five prison counts, in addition to misdemeanor prices of awful tests and counts of insurance fraud. He become released on unsecured bail set by using District Judge Gary Gambardella.
According to an affidavit of probable motive filed in the case, Bates’ deception of the house owners started in early 2017 when he advised to the victims they rent him to transform a garage on their assets into a “luxury master bedroom.”
The house owners had previously employed Bates, via his agency – mentioned alternately as Apache Renovation, Apache Construction and Apache Pool Service and Renovation – to do improvement work on an outside deck and to perform electric paintings inside the residence. They paid him $fifty three,000 for the garage paintings.
Then in April 2017, the victims paid Bates $2,500 to buy and deploy a shed on the assets. Minimal work became completed on the storage job, and the shed become in no way bought.
Also in April 2017, Bates efficaciously solicited $20,000 from the homeowners, claiming the budget had been an investment into three mobile houses in Macungie he deliberate to renovate for resale, the criticism says. Per their settlement with Bates, the victims were to acquire $8,000 in line with trailer as the trailers offered.
Arrest papers say Bates advertised the funding as an smooth way for the sufferers to fund their home renovations.
Three months later, Bates swindled every other $23,500 from the homeowners. This time, the criticism says, he claimed the cash was to be invested in a domestic in Levittown. They were to get hold of their entire investment plus $four,250.
The sufferers obtained two $1,000 checks from Bates in September and October of 2017, purportedly meant to refund their funding. Both exams had been lower back for inadequate price range, and the victims in no way obtained extra money from Bates.
Investigators regarded numerous textual content messages sent to the sufferers from Bates’ cellphone, giving various excuses as to why paintings become no longer being achieved and why cash he owed the victims was unavailable or at the manner.
Through investigation, police found out Bates had agreed with another guy to finance the trailer challenge, whilst his partner was accountable for the exertions. The guy instructed investigators Bates never got here up with the money and the settlement fell apart, and the trailers continue to be in the accomplice’s call.
Further investigation also revealed Bates’ had no possession stake inside the Levittown home venture. The proprietor of the home in Levittown, interviewed by using police, indicated he had employed Bates to renovate the belongings.
Bates completed the demolition part of that mission, police discovered, however by no means completed the renovation. The owner of the Levittown domestic stated he fired Bates after he discovered Bates became no longer paying his subcontractors. Bates additionally had stopped showing up to paintings.
Interviewed by way of police, Bates agreed he had collected $126,000 from the Tinicum sufferers, however maintained his paintings for the owners had earned him about $forty eight,000, the criticism says. He advised police he cannot do some thing about the Levittown house and trailer money, but said he can work on repaying the $30,000 he believes he owes for the garage preservation.
The research into Bates’ business dealings additionally revealed he had lied on coverage paperwork, indicating he carried people’ repayment insurance when in reality he did now not.
The case turned into investigated by way of Tincum Township Police Department, and is assigned to Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber for prosecution.