Two Excelsior-based homebuilders have recently become the focus of an investigation after several clients of theirs have accused them of taking money and not paying their subcontractors. The pair are being investigated by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, as well as the Minnetonka Police Department, but no fraud charges have been filed by Hennepin County prosecutors. If prosecutors do choose to file criminal charges, the men could be in serious trouble if convicted.
White-collar criminal charges are horrible for Minnesota professionals’ reputations. Not only is it disruptive to a career to potentially be jailed and to lose one’s job, but someone convicted of a white-collar crime may also have a difficult time getting a job after getting out of jail. Employers are hesitant to hire people who have previously defrauded people or embezzled their money, thinking that a former offender may choose to do so again.
It is extremely important, then, to work with an experienced white-collar criminal defense attorney if charged. A lawyer can help to defend against charges. They can also minimize the impact of charges by advocating for accurate charging and fair sentencing.
As of now, the two homebuilders have been stripped of their licenses by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Their luxury-homes company has also filed for bankruptcy. This alone, however, is not proof that they committed fraud. Hennepin County prosecutors will wait until Minnetonka police have finished their investigation before making a final decision on whether to file criminal charges, yet their former clients are calling for them to be locked up without hearing any evidence.
Source: Star Tribune, “Twin Cities luxury homebuilder investigated for fraud,” Alejandra Matos, Aug. 18, 2013