A contractor is accused of leaving his clients on the hook for money not paid to subcontractors and suppliers and faces three counts of theft in a business setting in Rock County Court.
Thomas P. Mastin, 46, of Eau Claire, doing business as Timberland Builders, is accused of receiving payments for a house addition and a new house in the town of Rock and a siding project in Milton and not paying the subcontractors on those projects.
All the projects started last year. Timberland never completed the addition or the new house, according to the complaint.
Each count is for theft of $5,000 to $10,000 and comes with a maximum prison term of six years.
On the home addition, the homeowner paid Mastin $47,700 and later received letters telling her liens for nonpayment were placed on the house by contractors and a building supply company, one of them for $15,668, according to the criminal complaint.
The homeowner started paying subcontractors to avoid additional liens, according to the criminal complaint. She later learned Mastin had filed for bankruptcy.
Timberland Builders of Janesville filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on May 17, listing debts of $166,620 mostly due to contractors and building supply companies, online court records indicate.
For the siding project, the homeowners read good reviews of Timberland but didn’t know Mastin had bought the business in January 2017, according to the complaint. They paid Mastin $15,615 and later received a letter saying a $10,688 lien had been placed on the house by a building supplier for nonpayment.
The owners of the new house agreed to a cost of $254,275, but the project went over budget. A subcontractor said he was still owed $10,255, and a supplier placed a lien of $7,351 on the property, according to the complaint.
Mastin is quoted in the complaint as telling a sheriff’s deputy that, “I had about a half-dozen projects going that I was trying to cash-flow the business with, so I was having to move money around to stay in business, essentially.”