Contractor admits bilking couple out of home funds
A Union County man admitted bilking a New York couple out of a large sum of money for the construction of a new home in Penn Forest Township, Carbon County. He was one of several defendants in pending cases to enter a guilty plea in Carbon County court on Thursday before President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II.
William D. Wehr Jr., 56, of Lewisburg, pleaded guilty to one count of theft by required disposition of funds, as a felony three.
Wehr was charged by state police at Fern Ridge with taking $105,800 from Iriana Lyakhuvitskiy, of Key Gardens, N.Y., and her husband, for the construction of a modular home on a site in the Indian Mountain Lakes development. The transaction occurred in or around Oct. 20, 2007.
Wehr, troopers said, did do some work around the property but never constructed the home. He then told the victims he had spent the money they gave him on other projects.
Assistant District Attorney Joseph Matika told Nanovic there is a dispute over what is owed the victims. He said a figure of $63,800 is now in question but that the matter had to be settled prior to sentencing.
Nanovic deferred sentencing and ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation (PSI) which will include a recommendation on restitution. He further said Wehr would have a right to have a hearing if he disputes the figure presented by the probation office.
Other defendants entering pleas included:
Walter Frank Kunsman, 25, of Lehighton, pleaded to one count of driving under the influence (DUI). He was arrested on Sept. 26, 2009, along the Sgt. Stanley Hoffman Blvd., in Lehighton, during a sobriety checkpoint operation. Given a test, the result was .14BAC.
Nanovic sentenced him to serve five days to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000 and costs, license suspended for a year, odered to get a drug and alcohol (D&A) evaluation and follow any recommenddation for treatment and pay a $134 laboratory fee for the blood test.
He will begin the jail term at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 2, and serve the time on consecutive weekends.
Terry Billman, 45, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of persistent disorderly conduct. He was arrested by Lehighton police for an incident at the Carbon Mini Mart on Nov. 15, 2009. Police responded to a report of a person attempting to pass fake bills.
At the proceeding it was reported Billman was allegedly involved in a similar incident in Jim Thorpe. In a plea bargain, the criminal complaint was amended to include the conduct count.
Nanovic placed him on probation for six months and imposed a fine of $250.
Kevin F. Meckes, 36, of Jim Thorpe, pleaded to one count of bad check. He was arrested on May 29, 2009, by Jim Thorpe police for issuing a bad check to the borough for $250.
Nanovic imposed a fine of $300. The $250 was already paid to the borough.
Each defendant must pay court costs and a $50 per month supervision fee while on probation or parole.