Editor's note:The charges against Timothy Rigsby were dropped in January 2016. Read more at bit.ly/ChargesDropped. This story remains archived on our website as a matter of record.
Delafield contractor Timothy Rigsby is facing a felony charge in Ozaukee County Circuit Court after a couple who contracted Rigsby to perform construction work on their home reportedly discovered that Rigsby had stolen more than $50,000 from them.
Rigsby was charged in November with theft by a contractor of more than $10,000, a felony, and could face up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines if convicted. Rigsby's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 2 at the Ozaukee County Justice Center in Port Washington.
According to a criminal complaint, Rigsby was contracted by Mequon couple James and Michelle Friedman in November 2013 to a build a home for them on North Wildwood Court in the city.
Rigsby reportedly withdrew at least more than $10,000 from an escrow account that was created by the Friedmans to fund the project by submitting invoices for labor or materials from subcontractors, but allegedly did not turn over that money to the companies that provided the work or materials.
The complaint does not present details about what happened to the remaining missing funds.
On one occasion described in the complaint, Rigsby is alleged to have withdrawn more than $500 for some subcontracted work in fall 2014, but never turned the money over to the subcontractor that performed the work.
The Friedmans terminated their contract with Rigsby in February 2015, and a short time later the subcontractor asked Rigsby about receiving payment for their work, the complaint said. Rigsby said in an email quoted in the complaint that the funds for the work hadn't been released before the termination of the contract, so he couldn't provide the contractor with the money — even though he had allegedly withdrawn it months before his contract was terminated.
The thefts were reportedly uncovered during a two-month investigation by Mequon police, and the matter was forwarded to the Ozaukee County District Attorney's Office for prosecution.
Online court records also indicate that Rigsby and his wife, Nancy, are embroiled in a civil suit containing nearly 20 claims against the Rigsby Group Inc., which the Rigsbys own. Among the claims outlined in the suit are allegations of theft by contractor, civil theft, fraud by inducement, filing a false and frivolous lien and defamation.