HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – Custom cabinet shop owner Joseph Bitters has been charged with taking thousands of dollars from homeowners around the Highland Park, Illinois, area for work that his customers say was never completed.
Bitters was indicted on charges of theft by deception of more than $100,000, theft of more than $100,000, wire fraud, and home repair fraud.
According to the police report, a woman complained about Bitters after she hired him to make cabinets for her home in late 2014. The woman signed a contract for $80,000 worth of cabinetry to be delivered by March 2015.
According to her allegations, Bitters pushed back the delivery date several times, and by August, the customer had paid over $90,000. Most of the cabinets hadn’t been delivered. By November, she wrote a letter demanding a refund. The letter was returned to her with no forwarding address.
Another victim reportedly entered into contract with Bitters for custom woodwork. The customer claimed they paid Bitters more than $20,000 in advance, but the job was never completed.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the investigation by Highland Park police found victims throughout the Chicagoland area.
Highland Park and Riverwoods police took Bitters into custody Jan. 20 as he was leaving his home, the Tribune said.