Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Contractor being held in county jail

by Rob Ireland

September 19, 2013

ELKHORN — A former Lake Geneva contractor is being held in the Walworth County jail in lieu of $20,000 after he allegedly missed criminal court hearings.

Thomas G. Felski, 52, faces three felony counts of theft by false representation, one count of the theft from a business setting and a felony and misdemeanor charge of theft by a contractor.

He is accused of collecting money from customers for construction projects, but never completing the work, according to the criminal complaint.

On Feb. 5, the Walworth County District Attorney's Office filed three bail jumping charges against Felski — one felony and two misdemeanors — after he allegedly provided the court system with the wrong address.

A court proceeding was set for Felski on March 18, but he didn't appear at the hearing.

On Sept. 5, Felski was brought to Walworth County Circuit Court and bail was set. A motion to reduce Felski's bail was rejected on Sept. 11.

Felski owns Daddy's Home Business Improvements, which has a Lake Geneva P.O. Box. On the Better Business Bureau's website, the business is listed "Believed to be out of business."

In a separate case, Felski faces a misdemeanor charge of third-offense drunken driving after he was arrested on May 15, 2011.

According to the criminal complaint on the bail jumping charge:

Felski's brother contacted police to say that Felski wasn't living at the address he provided to the court. Thomas Felski also had been defrauding his own mother, according to statement's made by his brother to the police.

According to the criminal complaint:

A woman told police she met Felski at a bar in East Troy, and, at the bar, Felski told the woman his last name is spelled "Felske." The woman checked CCAP — Wisconsin's online court records — and didn't find a record for "Felske."

So the woman entered into an agreement on Jan. 26, 2012, with Felski to complete repair work on her bathroom for $2,432. On two different occasions two different men came over to do the work, but they didn't complete it. Both men told the woman that they hadn't been paid by Felski.

The woman later spoke to Felski about completing work in her foyer and adding an addition to her home. Felski and the woman reached an agreement to complete the addition for $25,000.

At Felski's direction, the woman wrote checks to "cash." She also wrote a check to Felski made payable to a law firm's trust account for $8,333.33, which was to purchase materials for the home addition.

After writing the check, the woman drove Felski to an attorney's office in Elkhorn. The woman believes Felski left the office with another check. The two then drove to a bank and Felski came out with cash.

Police spoke to Felski's attorney, who confirmed the check was written to the law firm's trust account. Felski's attorney reported that the funds were used for legal bills.

On Aug. 30, 2011, police spoke to a woman who reported that she hired her neighbor, Felski, to build an addition to their home.

The woman reportedly paid Felski more than $44,000.

The project has not been completed and Felski has only installed three windows.

Another man reported to police that he met Felski while he was an inmate at the Walworth County Jail.

At the jail, between May or June of 2011, Felski reached an agreement with the inmate to borrow $4,000 so Felski could pay his back child support. By paying his back child support, Felski could be released from jail on work-release privileges.

In exchange for the loan, Felski provided the man with multiple titles for vehicles.

The former inmate contacted Felski about the loan and said he would need to complete the addition on his neighbor's home before paying him back. Felski promised the man that when the project was done he would pay him back with interest.

On Dec. 27, 2011, the former inmate received a call from Felski and Felski threatened to kill him and his family.

On May 30, 2012, police spoke to a man who stated he signed a contract with Daddy's Home Business Improvements on April 10, 2012, to build a garage.

The man paid Felski a total of $16,800. To date the only work done on the garage was the excavation of a sewer system.

The victim spoke to the excavator who said Felski still owed him money for the excavation work.

The victim also personally paid plumbers to avoid having a lien placed on his home.