January 12, 2012 | 02:49 PMELKHORN — A 36-year-old Pell Lake man, who was the subcontractor on a road project in the city of Lake Geneva, faces criminal charges after he allegedly used funds given to him for materials for personal expenses, including paying his attorney-fees related to a drunken driving arrest.
Jason M. Bader, W192 Tulip Drive, faces two felony charges of theft by a contractor. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years imprisonment and $50,000 in fines.
Bader is the owner of J & J Sealcoating. Basso Builders subcontracted J & J Sealcoating for a development project known as the Meadow Lands Subdivision, which is in the city of Lake Geneva.
As part of the development project, the subdivision streets needed to be paved. After the roads were paved, the ownership of the roads would transfer from the construction company to the city of Lake Geneva.
Basso Builders entered into a contract with J & J Sealcoating, which agreed to pay the subcontractor $36,900 to do the black top work in the subdivision. After the contract was signed, Basso Builders paid J & J Sealcoating $18,450 as a down payment, according to the criminal complaint. The company later paid the sealcoaters an additional $15,360.
City Administrator Dennis Jordan told the Regional News that the city has not yet accepted the roads for the Meadow Lands Subdivision.
According to the criminal complaint:
Before the city of Lake Geneva could take ownership of the subdivision, a construction lien was put on the Meadow Lands Subdivision by an asphalt supplier. The asphalt supplier placed the $19,155 construction lien on the subdivision because it never received payment for the asphalt by Bader.
On Sept. 23, police interviewed Bader, who stated Basso Builders owes him $25,000. Bader told police that because he needed money he agreed to stay with Meadow Lands Subdivision job even though he felt he was being underpaid.
Bader said he submitted a check to the asphalt supplier, but it bounced because he had a tax lien on his account. Bader told law enforcement that he was involved in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Law enforcement questioned Bader on what happened to the $33,000 that he was paid for the job, and Bader said he used it to pay for supplies, his employees' salaries, trucking and fuel costs.
Bader said at the end of the job he was "in the hole." Bader told law enforcement that he was poor at bookkeeping, and that Basso owed him money.
Bader said he would provide paperwork to law enforcement to show that he was in fact owed money.
On Oct. 7, police again spoke to Bader who said he had been busy and didn't have a chance to look into any of the paperwork.
Bader told a Walworth County Detective the matter was the "least of his worries" because he did nothing wrong and he was the one who got "screwed out of money."
On Dec. 10, the Walworth County Detective received a voicemail from Bader, which stated he had a bonfire and burned many of the materials regarding the matter.
Law enforcement interviewed the asphalt supplier, who said Bader sent his company checks, but all of the checks bounced for insufficient funds.
The Walworth County Sheriff's Department obtained copies of Bader's bank records, which showed that were several withdrawals from the same account where Bader deposited the check from Basso.
The withdrawals included Show Boat Theater, Red Box DVD rental, Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, the National Collectors Mint and a check to a law office with a notation of "DUI."
On June 21, Bader was found guilty in Racine County of fourth-offense drunken driving, which stemmed from an Oct. 14, 2009 arrest. Bader was sentenced to 60 days in jail with work release privileges.