UPDATE: 6/20 at 3:36 p.m.
The suspect in driveway paving scam in the Kronenwetter area is now behind bars on a $20,000 cash bond.
James James Reynolds, Jr., 21, was charged Thursday in Marathon County Court. Investigators say he pretended to work for the Village of Kronenwetter and would approach residents saying he had left over material from an area project. The suspect would then offer to re-seal driveways at a discount to use up the material. Victims say the original price quote was around a few hundred, however when the job was finished they were billed for around $8,000.
The suspect is originally from Texarkana, Arkansas. Online court records now show he had been living in the Rothschild area.
Thirty separate court case were filed this week; most of which include traffic forfeitures because the suspect did not have a valid business license to be operating the equipment he used at the jobs. His most serious charges include three theft by false representation charges and five counts of attempted theft by false representation.
Reynolds will return to court June 26.
ORIGINAL STORY: 6/19 at 5:32 p.m.
Summer is a time of year when many people make home improvement, like getting their driveways seal-coated.
But homeowners in Kronenwetter are being warned to be extra cautious after police nailed a group of suspected scammers who charged residents outrageous prices for less than stellar work.
Imagine being approached about getting your driveway seal-coated thinking it will cost only a few hundred dollars, and then getting a bill in the upper thousands.
That is exactly what happened to several families in Kronenwetter. But thanks to some good police work the criminals behind this scam have been arrested and won't be bothering anyone else.
At least five people contacted Kronenwetter Police after they were approached by a man who offered to pave their driveways. He claimed that he has been doing paving work for the Village of Kronenwetter along County Road J and said that he had left over gravel material.
Once the job was done though he presented homeowners will bills for up to $8,000.
Joan and Ron Selvs fell victim to the scam because the paver seemed legitimate.
"He said all the right things. He was a very smooth talker. He said he had lived in Rothschild for years and he had four kids and thought it was so nice that we had a family setting. So, he made you feel real comfortable. "
The Selves family did pay the man $2,500. And when they later tried to stop the check, it had already been cashed.
That's when they went to the police.
The Kronenwetter PD say the scammers likely operated from outside the state and specifically targeted the Wausau area.
There's no word yet on if the Selvs family will get their money back.
While those associated with this particular scam have been arrested, police still caution residents throughout our area to be alert because similar scams could still be operating.
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