"The magnitude of our loss is shocking. It's a lot of money. It's something we'll have to figure out how to recover from over the rest of our life,” says Fred Kohout.
Fred is still trying to piece together his finances after he says John Mulinski ripped them apart. The contractor was tossed in jail earlier this year for violating a judge’s order. Now, he may find himself behind bars again because he's been charged with 15 counts of felony theft.
"I wish I could say we were happy, but there's no happiness in this story,” says Kohout.
The Woodinville couple gave Mulinski more than $800,000 to remodel their home. Prosecutors say Mulinski didn't pay the subcontractors. The Kouhouts must spend at least another $300,000 to have others to finish the job.
"This is someone who takes money and doesn't do the work," says Ian Goodhew, chief of staff for the King County Prosecutor's Office. He says Mulinski not only stole money from the Kohouts, but used the same pattern to hit two other customers and a dozen subcontractors. The amount of money is close to $1 million, Goodhew says.
"He's telling the victims of the homes that he’s supposed to be building. He’s then not paying the subcontractors, but then telling the subcontractors the people they’re the building homes for haven't paid him the money yet. Meanwhile, he's keeping all of the money for himself,” says Goodhew.
It isn’t over for Mulinski. In July, state agents raided his home looking for evidence of theft for not paying employees and not paying labor and industries premiums.
Back in Woodinville, the work continues on the Kohouts’ home. The couple is running out of money, but they have hope.
"In the end, justice will prevail," Fred adds, "It doesn't run on anybody's stopwatch."
At the time of publication, Mulinski has a warrant out for his arrest, and he is not yet in custody. His first court appearance is scheduled for September 30.