Judge Dismisses One Charge against DuBois Man

bigstock-News-elegant-small-dotted-wor-25767608DUBOIS – After a preliminary hearing Friday before Magisterial District Judge Patrick Ford, one of the charges against a DuBois man accused of not completing a construction project were dismissed.

Keith Conrad, 50, 203 N. Fourth St., DuBois, had been charged with theft by failure to make required disposition of funds and deceptive business practices.  Conrad was charged after he failed to complete a construction project in Treasure Lake in 2009.

In a continuation of a hearing that began in May, Ford determined that there was no evidence it was Conrad’s intention to not use funds to pay for a geothermal system at a home he was building. Ford dismissed the theft by failure to make required disposition of funds charge but ruled to send the deceptive business practice charge on to the court of common pleas. Conrad is free on $1,000, unsecured bail.

Conrad’s attorney Michael Marshall argued that this was not upfront fraud, as Conrad did not offer a service with the intention of not completing it. He said Conrad’s violation on the contract should be handled as a civil matter.

Assistant District Attorney Joshua Maines noted that after Conrad left the job the victims were not able to contact him.

“If you want to see his intent, look at his conduct,” Maines stated.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, in October of 2009 the victim entered into a verbal contract with Conrad for the construction of a home on Shillings Road in Treasure Lake. In addition to the construction of the home, more than $28,000 was to go to the completion of a geothermal system. In total, the victim paid Conrad $205,007 for the construction.

Conrad then accepted and signed a written quote from Boyer Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Inc., in Bellwood to furnish and install the system plus an air conditioning system. He paid them a deposit of $2,835.85.

In January of 2010, Boyer Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Inc. completed the installation of the heating and cooling system with a balance due of $22,686.84. On June 21, 2010, due to non-payment, a representative of Boyer Refrigeration called the victim, asking if the victim had paid for the system. On June 25, 2010, the victim confronted Conrad about not paying Boyer’s but Conrad told him he had worked it out.

On April 31, 2010, the victim checked the progress of the construction and discovered it had not been completed and Conrad had removed all his tools. He was then unable to contact Conrad. In order to finish the home, the victim was required to spend an additional $4,869.15 for the completion of the domestic hot water system, flooring and walls. Conrad failed to reimburse the victim or pay the balance due to Boyer Refrigeration.

 

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