Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pool Contractor w/ Dubious History For Allegedly Pocketing Homeowners' Deposits & Not Performing Promised Work Gets Five Years' Probation (Theft By Deception, Failure To Make Required Disposition Of Funds) For Fleecing Over $40K From Customers

In Mount Holly, New Jersey, the Burlington County Times reports:
  • A Maple Shade man who operated a swimming pool contracting company was sentenced [] to five years of probation for taking about $5,000 from two Burlington County county customers and not performing services he was hired to do.

    Michael Kolwicz, 45, of South Coles Avenue, was also sentenced to probation by Superior Court Judge Terrence R. Cook at the Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly after pleading guilty in Ocean County to five counts of theft by deception. An order was signed so he could be sentenced on all of the charges together.

    In addition, Kolwicz must pay about $5,000 in restitution to the Burlington County victims and up to $38,300 to the victims in Ocean County. It was not specified in court how the money will be divided.

    Kolwicz is being held at the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly on a pending charge of conspiracy to commit theft by deception, according to comments in court.

    He made no comment in court as he was sentenced.

    In June, Kolwicz entered a guilty plea to third-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, admitting that in January 2015 he took a total of about $5,000 from a Riverton man and a Medford woman to perform pool services but never did the work. He operated the now-defunct Mike’s Custom Pools, according to news stories.

    Although Kolwicz entered his plea to just one count of theft, the deal calls for him to pay restitution to both victims. Charges related to the one victim have not been indicted, according to court proceedings.

    Restitution was conditioned on bankruptcy proceedings, as previous comments made in court indicated that the two victims are listed as creditors on a bankruptcy filing by Kolwicz. If they are awarded money in the bankruptcy proceedings, that could satisfy the restitution.

    In Ocean County, Kolwicz was indicted in September 2015 on 15 counts of third-degree theft by deception, according to court records. The other charges were dismissed under the plea deal.

    Additional theft charges against Kolwicz in Burlington and Monmouth counties were downgraded to municipal court, according to records. Other allegations were that he stole equipment from some customers, according to news stories.

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