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Montevideo, Minn., man faces theft by swindle charges, paid for work never completed

WILLMAR - Shawn Ray Bachman, 41, of Montevideo, made his first court appearance Wednesday on felony theft by swindle and theft of services charges for allegedly taking money from customers and never completing the projects as agreed in construction contracts.

Bachman also faces two gross misdemeanor and two misdemeanor counts of theft by swindle and theft of services. He was released on his personal recognizance. His next appearance is Aug. 12 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

According to the complaint, the investigation by the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office began after a man reported that he had hired BMK Contracting, of Montevideo and owned by Bachman, to do painting at a Lake Lillian residence. The man had paid Bachman $2,500 in deposit and signed a contract.

The man had attempted to make contact with Bachman after the painting was not being completed. He reported that Bachman had asked for more money for supplies and then never showed up at a meeting with the man.

The investigation revealed multiple reports to the Montevideo Police Department and the Swift County Sheriff's Office about Bachman, including that he failed to return rented equipment, failed to pay for gas and made threats to another individual in a disagreement about money Bachman owned to the person. The reports also included that Bachman had been loaned a dog for breeding purposes and then did not pay the person for the dog's services and did not return the dog to the owner.

Information from the state Department of Labor showed that numerous business were registered by Bachman, including KSB Landscaping, KSB Painting, KSB Painting & Landscaping, KSB Roofing, KSB Contracting and BMK Contracting. The department had also issued cease and desist orders for unlicensed activity by the companies, in December and May 2012, and orders to pay $2,890 and $2,500 in civil fines.

The investigation showed that the Better Business Bureau gave Bachman an F grade on an A+ to F scale and that he has been sued six times between November 2010 and September 2012 for failure to complete payment for either product items or services.

He also has been sued by individuals who alleged he did not complete painting work, having received payments for the work from citizens in Chippewa and Kandiyohi counties.

Bachman was interviewed about the Lake Lillian incident in April, telling the detective a variety of information, including that the man intended to do the work himself, that Bachman would give the money back, that Bachman intended to do the work and that he had sent a letter to the man indicating Bachman would not pursue breach of contract with the man.

The detective talked with the man, who said he never received any letter from Bachman and had no conversation with him about returning the money.

As the investigation continued in May and June, two more citizens in Kandiyohi County reported to law enforcement that Bachman had taken their money for landscaping and painting services which were not received. One of the citizens reported that Bachman had yelled and screamed at him, using abusive and derogatory language, and had threatened to burn down their house.