On Your Side Investigation: Bolivar business owner explains criminal past, says he’ll give refunds and finish projects
BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3) - Imagine hiring a company, forking over more than $30,000 and months later your backyard is still a mess. And on top of that, you can’t get a hold of anyone.
That’s exactly what happened to a man in Clever. Frank Doorn and other customers say they can’t reach the Bolivar business. That’s when they contacted On Your Side.
“You can’t even hang a door there because the posts are not straight,” said Doorn.
In November, he hired Shane Fellers with Build Tech Structures in Bolivar. Doorn paid in full, upfront. That’s more than $33,000.
“It’s just like throwing $33,000 in a fire pit and watching it burn up. That would have actually been better than the stress, anxiety and time spent on this,” said Doorn.
Doorn says Fellers was supposed to start the job in February. A crew worked a little in March. Doorn was not pleased. He did some digging about Fellers.
“My gut sunk. Found other news stories from Oklahoma,” he said.
In 2019, The Oklahoma Attorney General filed charges against Fellers. Court papers show, he pleaded guilty to embezzlement, home repair fraud and a pattern of criminal offenses. He’s now on probation.
In 2004, the Kansas Attorney General got an order from the court. Fellers had to pay back customers in restitution, and he was banned from working as a contractor for seven years.
“I confronted him. I said, ‘Hey, this is in the past. Let’s not make this a repeat,’” said Doorn.
Doorn says he told Fellers he wanted the barn done by April 1.
“He said, ‘Oh no. We’ll have this thing done by March 15,’” said Doorn.
As text after text shows. He can’t get a hold of Fellers.
On Your Side went to the business address in Bolivar. It was empty. Fellers returned our call and agreed to an interview. We asked about his criminal history.
“All I will say is, everybody brings that up. I understand that. I did go through a divorce in 2018. We were married for 18 years. We have three beautiful kids together. It set me back. Yeah, I left for a bit. Come back to fix it. That’s all taken care of,” said Fellers.
Fellers started Build Tech Structures in May 2020, two months after he was sentenced. On Your Side reporter Ashley Reynolds asked Fellers if he paid court fees with customer deposits.
“Not with the deposits. Oklahoma was taken care of by October. Before any of this every occurred,” he said.
Workers with the Missouri Attorney General confirm to On Your Side they’re investigating Fellers and Build Tech Structures.
“I do know that. I did reach out to them. I have nothing to hide. I’m pretty open here. It’s not a scam,” Fellers said.
Fellers told On Your Side he brought in about four crews to catch up on projects.
“It actually made things worse,” he said.
Fellers says he cut his office staff and only works with one crew now. No new projects.
“I’m working everyday to take care of them. I worked until 9:30 last night. I worked on Memorial Day. I’m not on no beach anywhere. I’m working,” he said.
Fellers admits, communication with customers is not good.
“I did have people in the office to take care of that. Now, I have an attorney. Not for bankruptcy. He’s helping me go through everything,” Fellers said.
Fellers tells On Your Side, customers will have their projects done or get their money back by the end of July. Customers can contact his attorney, Tom Norrid, at 417-865-2828.
“I know they’re probably not going to be happy, but I want to make them as happy as I can,” Fellers said.
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