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Law catches up with contractor in fraud case

Posted at 8:04 PM, Feb 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-03 20:04:49-05

KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- Alleged victims of Ken Bird may be granted restitution, according to statements made at a court hearing Monday.

Bird pleaded guilty to defrauding an East Grand Rapids couple. According to court records, the couple paid the roofer $6,000 upfront in June 2014.

In Kent County Circuit Court, Bird admitted he never did the work.

Also during the hearing, assistant prosecutor Josh Kuiper said Bird must not only repay the couple, but he must repay three other alleged victims in separate cases as part of the plea agreement. Kuiper said the case is also being left open if other victims come forward.

"He's a very personable guy," Ken Malone, an alleged victim of Bird said.

Ken and Sandra Malone reached out to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers about the roofer. Today, the Problem Solvers sat down with the couple. The Malones aren't included in the cases mentioned above. However, they said they've also fallen prey to Ken Bird.

They turned to him in late June 2014 to install a new roof on their Ada home. The Malones still have the signed agreement and a copy of the sizable check for the downpayment.

"I wrote him a check for 9,000," Malone said.

That's more than half paid for the $17,000 job. Malone said two weeks went by, and Bird never responded. Eventually, the homeowner went to Bird's business on Chicago Drive for answers.

"We couldn't get anything but lies out of him is what it turned out to be. He would make promises," Malone said.

Since June, the Malone's reported Bird to the Better Business Bureau and filed a police report. However, they still didn't get a new roof, nor a refund, and no charges pressed in their case.

Also during that time, the couple said all they could do is watch as allegations against Bird unfolded in the media. They reached out to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers. We let them know about Bird's guilty plea and the prosecutor's decision to leave the case open should more victims come forward for restitution.

"I will follow up on that," Malone said.

He added, "We had written it off already. We just figured it wasn't going to happen. I mean, if it does, praise the Lord."

Bird's sentencing is scheduled for March 18th. He faces 6 months to 3 years in prison. FOX 17 has also been talking with some of Bird’s subcontractors and several of them say they still haven’t been paid.