September 25, 2023

House T.M.

Every Story Begins at 'House'

Utah remodeling company owner collected deposits but failed to provide operate, charges say

4 min read

Approximated go through time: 3-4

SALT LAKE City — A Cedar Hills male who served time in federal jail for his conviction in a authentic estate investment fraud scheme, is experiencing new felony charges accusing him of working a construction organization that gathered cash up entrance but hardly ever done the do the job.

Patrick Merrill Brody, 57, was billed Tuesday in 3rd District Courtroom with eight counts of communications fraud and engaging in a sample of illegal action, 2nd-diploma felonies.

In December of 2020, Brody approached a contractor about a partnership.

“Brody wanted to listing his corporation under the contractor’s … contracting license with the point out of Utah so that they could do more substantial employment with the appropriate qualifications.” The person eventually “agreed to make it possible for Brody to use his license to pull permits” in exchange for a regular monthly rate. The contractor was hardly ever associated directly in any of the assignments that Brody’s enterprise, Cornerstone, undertook, in accordance to charging paperwork.

Brody, nevertheless, unsuccessful to explain to the contractor “that he experienced previously been convicted of federal felony fraud prices,” the charges state.

In 2013, Brody pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake Metropolis and was later on sentenced to 3 1/2 decades in federal prison.

In his new business undertaking, investigators say Brody established up a financial institution account with the contractor as a signor to challenge checks from, and brought in a 3rd get together as another signor, allegedly to prevent fraud.

“Brody unsuccessful to explain to (the contractor) that this other signor was Brody’s mom,” the expenses allege.

Prosecutors say Brody’s firm signed clients for house advancement projects and demanded a 60% down payment up front.

“Following the consumer paid the 60%, Cornerstone personnel would sometimes start off some get the job done at the clients’ home, commonly consisting of prep work. The get the job done would then slow down and cease fully. Cornerstone would usually talk to for far more payment to get factors going all over again and no perform would be done. Usually, just after the original payment, get the job done would never ever begin on the tasks. Brody would often make fake statements, or omit substance information and facts, to indication on clients,” according to the charging documents.

The subsequent work opportunities are amongst these the place Brody gathered additional than $200,000 but hardly ever concluded, according to the charges:

  • In February 2021, Cornerstone took $12,000 from a man wanting his basement remodeled in buy to maintain a spot in the firm’s “chaotic perform program.” The function was never completed.
  • In April 2021, a man created a down payment of just about $59,000 for a detached garage to be created, but no work was ever done and no products ever shipped.
  • In Might 2021, a gentleman compensated nearly $7,900 to have a toilet transformed. After no do the job was done for months, Cornerstone workers ultimately confirmed up and did demolition on the old bathroom, but no supplies or materials were being ever sent for the new toilet.
  • In July 2021, a man compensated a $40,000 deposit, but “no perform was ever carried out on the undertaking.”
  • In August 2021, a woman compensated approximately $9,200 for a home improvement undertaking, but no work was performed.
  • Also in August 2021, a male made a $50,000 deposit for a home advancement job. The do the job was never concluded and Brody falsely told the male that his contractor was actually the proprietor of Cornerstone.
  • In September 2021, a woman manufactured a $36,000 deposit for a dwelling rework job, but no perform was at any time carried out.

In overall, prosecutors say Cornerstone signed about 25 consumers amongst December 2020 and October 2021.

“All these purchasers paid out deposits and Cornerstone both unsuccessful to do any do the job on the initiatives, or started off some sum of work but then unsuccessful to entire the initiatives,” the expenses point out. “In the end, investigation demonstrates that some of the revenue from shoppers was employed for reputable company uses like marketing and payroll. Nonetheless, a huge amount of the checks from the shoppers would be deposited into different accounts related to Cornerstone and other companies controlled by Brody.

“Then, the income would be moved into other accounts and Brody would change the money to personal use, not leaving money to finish the projects Cornerstone contracted to carry out,” the courtroom paperwork point out.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime law enforcement and courts reporter. He joined the workforce in 2021, soon after many many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio just before that.

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