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CONTRACTOR CONTROVERSY: Fort Wayne Contractor arrested, accused of theft – WPTA 21

CONTRACTOR CONTROVERSY: Fort Wayne Contractor arrested, accused of theft – WPTA 21

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) – A Fort Wayne man is facing multiple counts of theft after police say he charged homeowners for improvement projects he never completed.

21Alive News has obtained the probable cause documents from the Allen County Superior Circuit Court in the case against 27-year-old Zachery Downing.

According to those court documents, Downing owns Advanced 1 Construction LLC in Fort Wayne.

In court documents, police say Downing entered into several home improvement contracts with clients. Those clients tell police they wrote checks to Downing for half of the cost of the projects up front. They say Downing failed to deliver on the work.

According to court documents, one of the victims received this text message.

“I am sorry brother. We have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I didn’t want this to happen. I was hoping to be able to get your job done but won’t be able to. We’re working on getting people their money back.”

Court documents detail a case where police say a Fort Wayne homeowner entered into a contract with Downing for $125,400 worth of improvements in September of 2021. Police say the homeowner wrote a check for $62,725. “Downing/Advanced 1 Construction, LLC then cashed the check,” police say in the court documents. Police say during the deconstruction of the property, a crew caused damage. In court documents police say “to this date no monies were ever refunded by Downing/Advanced 1 Construction, LLC and the work was never repaired and/or completed.”

“Downing accepted checks from each of the victims for at least 50% of the total and deposited them into bank accounts that he had direct and sole control over the funds of for a total of $280,585.92,” the probable cause states.

Downing is being charged with two counts of theft over $50,00 (a level 5 felony), 13 counts of theft over $750 (a level 6 felony), and one count of corrupt business influence.

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