TROY, Kan. — When FOX4 Problem Solvers first met Josh Kleinschmit last year, all he had to show for the $30,000 he spent trying to get a barn built on his property was some flat ground.
“He pushed all the ground from here to over there, and he did level it off,” said Kleinschmit, referring to Jimmy Wolfe, owner of Midwest Construction Services.
Wolfe said he needed the $30,000 to pay for building materials. But once Kleinschmit handed over the money, he never saw Wolfe again.
Kleinschmit wasn’t alone.
FOX4 Problem Solvers heard from numerous people who were also out thousands of dollars from the now 30-year-old Wolfe. All of them had the same complaint: They paid Wolfe money, but never saw any work.
Although Kansas City area police and prosecutors often dismiss complaints as “civil matters,” a sheriff and district attorney in rural Kansas took them seriously.
The Greenfield County District Attorney’s Office charged Wolfe with felony theft, attempted theft and criminal damage to property. He’s out on bond and heads to court next month.
Although the Greenfield case had nothing to do with Kleinschmit, he appears to be benefiting from it.
Ever since charges were filed, Wolfe has started repaying his victims. Kleinschmit received his $30,000 back this week.
Still waiting for a refund, however, is Tyler Coey. He’s out $35,000. That’s the money he paid a metro contractor to fix the retaining wall at his Kansas City, Kansas, home.
The contractor worked for a few days at Coey’s house but soon disappeared, leaving the wall unfinished and the outside a mess.
“I’m working on making sure he doesn’t do this to anybody else,” said Coey, who has two young children and a wife to support.
The Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office has filed 10 counts against Darren O’Rourke, owner of Big Block Specialist. Four of the counts accuse O’Rourke of deceptive acts and practices, and another six counts accuse him of unconscionable acts and practices.
At the time Coey hired O’Rourke, a judge had already banned O’Rourke from doing landscaping and construction work in Kansas.
O’Rourke is also facing justice in Johnson County. He will be sentenced there next month after agreeing to plead guilty to defrauding a forming business partner by forging his name on documents.
The plea agreement requires O’Rourke to pay $4,000 in restitution. It will also allow him to serve his sentence on probation, not behind bars. He will be sentenced next month.