Bloomfield Township contractor bails on work, flees to Costa Rica

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Darryl Enriquez
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
— A Bloomfield Township contractor charged with over billing a client by $320,000 probably has fled to Costa Rica, according to court documents.

David A. Pierce, 39, is charged with five felony counts of theft by contractor. An arrest warrant is attached to a criminal complaint issued by the Walworth County District Attorney's Office.

Pierce is accused of not finishing a $5 million project in Linn Township.

Pierce's profit was set at 10 percent of the project cost, but he took 20 percent, according to a criminal complaint. Pierce also over billed the client about $320,000, the complaint alleges.

Pierce's last known address was W789 Florence Road. He ran Pierce Builders in Lake Geneva.

Mark Effenheim, a certified public accountant, told investigators the client was over billed for work and material from five subcontractors:

-- $93,000 from a landscaper.

-- $86,000 for masonry.

-- $62,000 for installation.

-- $54,000 for televisions and appliances.

-- $28,000 for cabinets.

When contacted at her home Tuesday, the client told the Gazette she did not want to comment on Pierce or the charges filed against him.

The complaint alleges additional details about the project:

Pierce was hired as general contractor in October 2006 for home and property improvements.

The client gave Pierce a $250,000 deposit when the contract was signed and by July 2008 had paid Pierce about $5.7 million.

The client asked Pierce to explain cost overruns, but at a follow up meeting in June 2008 Pierce said that the project needed another half million dollars and his firm would fail unless she took over payment of all company expenses.

Pierce later that month told the client he needed money to make payroll. She gave him a check for about $5,300.

A short time later, Pierce's father, Arthur Pierce, gave the client a letter that said his son was closing the firm and liquidating its assets. The letter offered the client four of his properties "as a way to make things right between them."

When the client tried contacting Pierce through an attorney, she heard he had taken off to live in Costa Rica.

Last updated: 5:20 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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