Stafford contractor charged with stealing $600K from investors September 10, 2010Posted by jefhenninger in News.
Tags: theft by deception
David K. Haugland of Beachview Avenue in the Manahawkin section, was arrested at his home Wednesday morning by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, U.S. Secret Service and Stafford Police. He has been charged with second-degree theft by deception, for allegedly defrauding investors of $600,000.
Haugland is a building contractor with Haugland & Sons Construction, located at 297 Route 72 in West Manahawkin. He would allegedly take money from investors for prospective homes he said he was going to build and sell, informing them via contract that he was the record owner of the properties, then fail to pay the investors back. Nine investors, who were allegedly taken for $600,000, have been identified. They have discovered the illegal activity has been occurring since at least 2007 and authorities are looking for more possible alleged victims.
How much of this was really theft remains to be seen. I know from my practice that the alleged victims sometimes have too much control over the investigation. If these investors were all connected to each other, they could get together to make a business dispute seem like a criminal act. I say that because that is what happened in one case that I had. One person got five other people together to claim that my client took their money. However, four of them never even asked for their money back! Luckily, the judge dismissed the case.
Story is here.