GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas - "In total, we were out about $50,000," said Angela Wakat.
For Wakat, it's become so much more than just the money she is owed by Mike Hurte DBA Texas Custom Barns.
"I think the biggest thing that bothers me the most, that it has lit a fire in me, and made me passionate, is how many senior citizens we found that this man has done this to," Wakat said.
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Wakat says she hired Hurte to build her a house. All she's gotten she says is a big pile of dirt.
"Every person that has touched our property has gotten insufficient funds, hot checks," Wakat said.
She puts up signs near Hurte's Santa Fe home. It says, "if you have been scammed by Texas Custom Barns Mike Hurte, please reach out to Precinct 2."
"I've heard from about three or four different people," said Galveston County Precinct 2 Constable Jimmy Fullen.
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Fullen says the Galveston County Sheriff's Office is conducting a criminal investigation.
"Some of them are saying they gave a deposit to this gentleman to build them a barndominium or a barn, and he never showed back up. Then some of the other ones said, they actually came out and did a little work but never completed the work," Fullen said. "The general consensus is he's taking the money and not doing what he contractually was supposed to do."
At least half a dozen of Hurte's unhappy customers have filed civil suits against him. Two others, like Wakat, have default judgments against Hurte.
"There are people that have the same exact cellphone message referencing a doctor's appointment or broken hand or whatever, but they are a year apart or 14 months apart from the same verbatim messages," Wakat said. "This is a game to him, but when you are messing with people's livelihoods, their money, it's not a game.
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"Right now, based on those 15 something people on that list, he hasn't finished one job. When I tried to talk to him on the phone, he couldn't offer up anybody, hey go check with this person, none," Fullen said.