U.P. construction contractor charged with defrauding clients

Crime

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LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt announced today that a residential builder faces more than a dozen felonies for failing to complete construction projects that totaled more than one million dollars.

This afternoon in Marquette County’s 96th District Court, Klint Miller, 30, of Sands Township, was arraigned on the following charges: 

  • seven counts of larceny by conversion over $20,000, felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or $15,000 fine; 
  • seven counts of fraudulent use of contractor funds, felonies punishable by up to three years in prison; and 
  • one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, a 20-year felony with a maximum fine of $100,000. 

Miller will be released on a personal recognizance bond. 

In January 2020, the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into Miller’s construction company, U.P. General Contracting.  The investigation started as a result of clients receiving an email from Miller indicating he was closing the company. Clients were left with unfinished home construction and remodeling projects that had been paid for in advance. 

In February 2020, a search warrant was obtained and executed on the company’s office formerly located at 329 W. Washington Street, Suite A1 in Marquette City. Marquette City Police and the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit assisted with that warrant. 

To date, nine projects were identified in Marquette County with a total estimated loss of $978,000. Three additional unfinished projects were identified in Alger and Delta Counties, where Miller faces similar charges. The Michigan State Police and Escanaba Public Safety are handling the investigations outside of Marquette County. 

Combined, the unfinished projects total $1,258,207. 

“Every licensed contractor is bound by law to follow through on work paid for by clients,” AG Nessel said. ”My office remains committed to holding accountable anyone who takes advantage of that trust and cheats clients out of hard-earned money. I appreciate the work done by the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department that helped secure these charges against Mr. Miller.” 

“When you build or renovate your home, you put your faith, time, and life savings into it,” Sheriff Zyburt said. “To have a contractor abuse that trust is criminal and inflicts pain similar to breaking into someone’s home. We will continue to work with the Attorney General on this case.” 

Miller will be back in court on Sept. 1 for a probable cause conference. A preliminary exam is set for Sept. 7. 

Anyone with information regarding the investigation is encouraged to contact Marquette County Sheriff’s Office Detective/Lieutenant Lowell Larson at (906) 225-8470. You may also email him at LLarson@mqtco.org. 

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