Racine police say a 35-year-old West Allis man stole over $30,000 from a man who contracted for various home improvement projects that were never completed.
Tyler Helm was supposed to be charged Wednesday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of theft by contractor over $10,000. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and/or up to $25,000 in fines.
Because he did not have an attorney, his initial appearance was postponed until August 12.
According to the criminal complaint, police last October were notified by a man who contracted with Helm – doing business as Integrity Roofing & Remodeling – to first do work in the man’s basement for a price of $12,000. The man paid Helm, but Helm only completed most of the work.
Officers say the man and Helm signed a contract in February 2014 for $20,000 for an addition on the back of the man’s house. Helm tore apart the back of the house but never completed the work and subcontractors never did any work, either. After a series of calls and text messages during which Helm offered a number of excuses, he said he’d purchased all the necessary materials and paid subcontractors. Helm in June 2014 asked the man for another $7,000 to get the job done, and the man paid it.
The man said he wanted to give Helm another chance, the complaint reads, so they signed a new contract with specific beginning and end dates for the project. Helm cashed both the $20,000 and $7,000 checks, but by October 2014, though, the work Helm promised to complete was still not done.
Police say after hiring an attorney but unable to afford filing a lawsuit against Helm, the man reported the situation to law enforcement.
Charges were originally filed against Helm last November with a $10,000 warrant issued at the same time. He was listed in custody on July 14 and scheduled for his initial appearance Wednesday where he was assigned a $10,000 signature bond.
The man from whom Helm is accused of stealing filed a form for restitution in the amount of $33,500. Helm will be formally charged August 12.