Minnesota pool contractor indicted for defrauding homeowners in scheme
(FOX 9) - A federal jury indicted a Minnesota pool contractor on wire fraud for allegedly deceiving homeowners out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a swimming pool contracting scheme.
According to court documents, 37-year-old Charles Workman devised a scheme through his swimming pool company, MN Crete Pool, where he told customers he would "secure" a spot for installing the swimming pool in exchange for a down payment. He sometimes requested additional payments claiming it was covering the cost of excavating their backyard or ordering equipment for the project when nothing was ordered.
The indictment claims between 2021 and 2022 Workman fraudulently obtained over $750,000 during the scheme. He also pocketed some of the down payments and used it for himself, including $3,000 in child support payments, $18,000 at a casino, and more than $6,000 on a horse and saddle.
However, as the projects began to pile up, Workman allegedly told customers the reason their pool had yet to be installed was due to COVID-related delays, weather, or equipment shortages when in reality they were "caused by his own failure to utilize his customers’ down payments for completion of the promised work," the indictment reads.
Workman’s alleged mishandling of money left the company unable to refund the customers their money or complete the pool installations, the indictment states.
Authorities arrested Workman on March 27 in Nashville, Tennessee, and he was indicted on four counts of wire fraud. He will appear for arraignment on April 10 at the Minnesota U.S. District Court.