Evansville contractor accused of house enchancment fraud will get new cost in Vanderburgh County

An Evansville contractor charged with house enchancment fraud in Warrick County has now been accused of an analogous crime in Vanderburgh County.

A possible trigger affidavit filed by the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Workplace exhibits that Matthew S. Gates, CEO of Elite Development Programs, was arrested and booked into Vanderburgh County Jail on Sunday for allegedly bilking a buyer in Evansville of $9,600 in a house enchancment fraud scheme. The affidavit lists felony theft and residential enchancment fraud as Gates’ costs.

He was nonetheless lodged within the jail as of Tuesday morning.

Gates was launched on bond final week and has a listening to scheduled in March in Warrick County for allegedly defrauding a Newburgh couple out of almost $30,000. In that case, Gates is alleged to have advised the couple that his firm would have a brand new sunroom put in on their house by Mom’s Day 2021.

A house owner’s nightmare: Evansville contractor has historical past of fraud, authorized points

What adopted, prosecutors allege, was a sample of excuses, false guarantees, delays, rare and shoddy work, adopted by a complete ghosting of the couple by Gates and his firm. All of the couple stated they received out of the deal was a poorly put in deck and $28,785 in misplaced cash.

Matthew S. Gates, proprietor of Elite Development Programs, poses for a portrait in entrance of his enterprise in Evansville, Ind., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Gates, CEO of Elite Development Programs, has been charged with felony house enchancment fraud in Warrick County.

A historical past of authorized hassle

It isn’t the primary time Gates has skilled authorized hassle. Courtroom data present that, since 2020, Gates is listed as a defendant in 11 instances filed as civil collections or small claims. And in 2009, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Division in Florida arrested him on costs of grand theft and arranged fraud after three Jacksonville householders paid hundreds of {dollars} for roofing work that was by no means finished.

What Gates is being charged of in Vanderburgh County is nothing completely different.

In accordance with the affidavit, Elite Development Programs was employed in January 2021 to construct a deck and lined porch at a house on Darmstadt Street. Gates signed right into a contract with the shopper, acquired a down cost of $9,600, however then by no means confirmed as much as do the work, investigators stated.

The affidavit states that the shopper acquired “quite a few” excuses as to why the mission was delayed.

From the interval of April 1 to Could 26, Gates got here out to the residence, dug holes for the porch, dropped off roofing tiles, positioned posts after which by no means returned to finish the mission, the affidavit said. Gates then repeatedly supplied the shopper with excuses and the reason why the mission couldn’t be completed, investigators stated, which the affidavit said had been “in keeping with fraud.”

The shopper’s final contact with Gates was on Sept. 7, after they requested him for a refund. Gates allegedly refused.

Moreover, the affidavit notes that the Vanderburgh County Constructing Fee doesn’t record Gates as a licensed contractor within the county and that he hadn’t utilized for the required constructing allow for the Darmstadt Street house mission.

Gates has a listening to in Vanderburgh Circuit Courtroom on Feb. 22 at 1 p.m.

This text initially appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: Elite Development CEO will get new costs from Vanderburgh County Sheriff

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