Not only did the friendship end, Bernard hired a lawyer to attempt to recapture the funds he was defrauded of and filed a lawsuit, which led to endless legal and financial troubles. Although the contractor was found guilty of fraud, and was ordered to pay a judgment of more than four million dollars, the author has not been able to collect. As the laws are currently written, this type of fraud is a civil matter, not criminal, so the criminal contractor goes free, able to continue conning others.
Download a free copy of Betrayed: The True Story of a Trusted Friend's Fraud, Deceit, and Betrayal from Amazon from April 19 - April 22, 2014 by visiting http://www.amazon.com/
The author is far from alone in his ordeal; similar cases are occurring throughout the United States. The average defrauded homeowner does not have the resources to begin a drawn-out legal battle, making it easy for unscrupulous contractors and homebuilders to walk away, leaving the owner with insurmountable debt. Even Spike TV’s new, non-scripted original series, “Catch A Contractor,”
Betrayed is both a cautionary tale and a call-to-action — for the protection of law-abiding homeowners and the kind of legislative change that will make this type of fraud by homebuilders a criminal offense.
About the Author:
David J. Bernard was born in upstate New York. He earned a master's degree in finance and business in southern California. In 1987, he founded the Sono Italiano Corporation, a manufacturing and distribution company of the True Sun Dried Tomato® in California. In 1989, he moved the company to Texas, sold it in 2013 and has since retired.
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Tags: True crime, mechanic’s lien, lien waiver, homeowner protection, construction lien, faulty workmanship, construction draw