Contractor charged with home improvement fraud | Local News

A construction contractor has been arrested after charging a man more than $100,000 to build a garage and leaving him with only a malformed foundation, according to court records.

A Lebanon homeowner agreed in October 2021 to pay Johnathon R. Manco, 40, of Thorntown, $98,000 to build a garage in three phases, according to a probable cause affidavit. Manco performed only phase one, which included grading and excavation, a footer, and the foundation, police reported.

But the foundation was made with inadequate, “extremely crooked” forms, Boone County Sheriff’s Detective Bradley Dunn reported.

And Manco, through his company, Diverse Construction Solutions, LLC, billed the homeowner more than $118,000 for a deposit, blueprints, materials, expenses, etc., Dunn reported.

Manco never provided receipts for the materials that the homeowner requested. And the homeowner sought police advice in 2022 when Manco asked for another $35,000 without an explanation, according to court records.

Manco asked the homeowner in August for another $6,800 he allegedly owed for concrete pads, according to the affidavit.

Dunn hunted estimates for the phase one work from two other contractors. Both said they could build that same foundation for about $17,500 to $18,800, or $100,000 less than the homeowner paid, Dunn reported.

Two other companies estimated the entire garage could be built for $130,000, Dunn reported.

Manco would not return Dunn’s phone calls and was arrested last week on charges of fraud and theft, both level 5 felonies.