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Absconded with my $17,000 deposit

Update by user Jun 04, 2023

Deck Dude (AKA Jonathan Cherup) claims he will repay the $17K, but refuses to say when. At first he claimed he had to sell some real estate to get the $ to repay me. He now says that he sold the real estate, but still refuses to repay me!

Original review posted by user May 05, 2023
I contracted for a deck re-build using Azek material on 5/26/2022. The work was to begin in about 3 weeks, but the contractor/owner (Jonathan Cherup) had said it might be as soon as one week. The job involved replacing all the wood decking boards and the wood railing with new Azek material. Upon signing, I gave a deposit of almost $17,000. $5400 was for Labor (1/3 of the labor), the balance was for all the material (up-front). Today is almost one year later. No deck. No refund of the $17K. Total ripoff. EMBEZZLEMENT! For six months after signing the contract, Mr. Cherup had excuse after excuse. Sometimes he would say he's going to show up on a particular day -- but, of course, he's a no-show. He does not even tell us that he has changed plans. Just doesn't show up! Excuses were many: "hit a deer", "my helper is out sick", "broke my foot", "covid", "have to isolate for 14 days after recovering from covid", "ate some bad pork", "went camping with the family", "had to clean up the camper by myself", "feeling worn out and doctor says I need to rest" -- you get the idea. We started to joke about what his next excuse might be. But, in reality, we had come to the grim conclusion that we were being swindled. Finally, approaching winter, Mr. Cherup says he can't do the job. He had managed to take on several other jobs during all this time. But, as for our job -- apparently he had no time. We asked for our money to be refunded. He says he can't do that until he sells a property up north! It has been 6 months since that time, the property has never even been listed for sale, and we have not heard a "peep" from Mr. Cherup. This is obviously a fraud. Cherup has embezzled $17,000 from us. EMBEZZLEMENT is defined as theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one's trust. I am hopeful that Mr. Cherup will be prosecuted in the near future. The Michigan State Police have been notified, and they have investigated my claim. Everything that I stated was found to be true. Mr. Cherup was interviewed and -- in typical fashion -- gave nonsensical, roundabout reasons why he couldn't refund the $ at this time. His statements to the police mirror our interactions with him: difficult to follow his reasoning, jumping from topic to topic with no clear line of thought. His text messages and emails and voicemails are of similar quality: it is not clear what he is saying. This inability to communicate even minimally is reason enough to stay away from this guy! So, STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. You'll be glad I warned you. I am hoping that the DA will prosecute Mr. Cherup once the contract has passed the one-year mark without being concluded. But, until this guy is prosecuted and jailed, I am out $17,000.
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#4569956 Review #4569956 is a subjective opinion of poster.
  • Unable to communicate clearly
  • Crook
  • Liar
Preferred solution
Full refund