Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Home Builder Faces Felony Charges For Allegedly Forging Customers' Names On Bank Documents To Steal Loan Draws, Stiffing Subcontractors, Suppliers; Some Homebuyers Left Facing Foreclosure Over Unpaid Construction Mortgages, Mechanics' Liens

In Charleston County, South Carolina, WCBD-TV Channel 2 reports:
  • A Charleston-area home builder is charged with 6 counts of forgery and 4 counts of breach of trust. This comes 2 months after News 2’s I-Team first shed light on the business and the people who lost thousands of dollars.

    Five people contacted the I-Team over the summer. They all hired Moss Construction and its owner, Joshua Zollweg, to build their homes in the last two years. Some of them say, though, at times, Zollweg forged their names on bank documents and didn’t pay contractors he hired.

    The judge set a $660,000 surety bond. If bonded out, Zollweg cannot leave the country. He also cannot leave the state without the solicitor’s permission.

    “I don’t have any sympathy for him,” said Betsy Hopkins, one of the forgery victims. “At least, we know that there’s some progress and justice finally happening. This is just the start of it,” said Richard Burke.

    News 2 interviewed Burke and Hopkins during the original story in September.

    Zollweg also recently filed for bankruptcy, and that may mean more court room visits for the families.

    “This is just the beginning. I don’t know if we’ll ever get our money back, but at least I know he can’t continue doing this with now repercussions to him,” said Hopkins.

    An attorney was present in support of Zollweg, however he denied to comment.

    Burke and several other victims, who not included in Tuesday’s court appearance, are still facing bank liens and foreclosures from subcontractors Zollweg hired but never paid. However, those are matters to play out in civil court.
Source: Charleston home builder charged with forgery, breach of trust.

See also, Dream home build turns to nightmare, arrest of construction company owner:
  • [A]ccording to Mount Pleasant Police, [the] builder was stealing money and not following through on construction.
    ***
    [Victimized homebuyer Richard] Burke said it all unraveled when they received a foreclosure notice from their bank. A $140,000 construction loan was taken out in their name.

    He was taking loans from our construction loans by forging our signature,” said Burke. “We didn’t even know money was going out.”

    Burke began asking around. They found they weren’t the only homeowners dealing with the same issue.

    “We began to correspond with each other and then we got together as a group and started comparing notes and realized, this was happening to, as it turned out between eight and 10 at least, that we know of right now,” said Burke.

    In the end, Burke estimates Zollweg’s actions left them $600,000 in the hole. He said Zollweg filed for bankruptcy.

    “The homeowner takes over 100% of the burden, we now have liens and foreclosures from subs and suppliers and it’s up to me to hire an attorney, go to court, do all the work to get all these things taken off this home even though I, in good faith, paid my builder who then, in turn, did not pay those subs and suppliers,” said Burke.

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