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Rushville construction firm owner arrested on charges of theft, home improvement fraud

Posted at 9:38 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 21:38:13-04

RUSH COUNTY — The owner of a Rushville construction firm was arrested Monday on allegations he repeatedly failed to complete jobs he charged people for.

Warren L. Stephen, of Rushville, the owner of W. Stephen Affordable Construction, was taken into custody on a warrant for suspected theft and fraud, according to the Rush County Sheriff's Office.

"This investigation revealed several individuals fell victim of W. Stephen Affordable Construction. Mr. Stephen has received money to start many local jobs, but has failed to return to complete the contracted work," a news release from the Sheriff's Office states.

Investigators found Stephen repeatedly charged his clients for half of a job's cost upfront, but would only do "a minimal portion" of the job and then not return, and in some cases did not come to the job site at all, the Sheriff's Office alleged.

He then stopped communicating with the client and left them without money or with an unusable project site, the Sheriff's Office said.

Stephen was charged with six felony counts of theft and one misdemeanor count of home improvement fraud, online court records show.

An initial court appearance has yet to be scheduled for him.

Stephen declined to comment for this story.