Police charge Atlantic couple with home improvement fraud

Jan 31—LINESVILLE — A western Crawford County couple has been charged with more than $100,000 worth of home improvement fraud.

Conneaut Lake Regional Police Department has charged Chad Eckenrode, 42, and Kristi L. McBride, 38, both of 3438 Maple Lane, Atlantic, with false statement for home improvement services, receiving advance payment for services and failing to perform work, theft by deception and deceptive business practices.

Police allege the married couple defrauded a man of $118,135 in remodeling of a Sadsbury Township home, according to the criminal complaint filed in the case.

Police allege the homeowner signed a contract with A+ Handyman Service in September 2021 to remodel a home on Hickory Drive, but failed to fulfill the contract as required.

A+ Handyman Service is owned by McBride and Eckenrode is a construction supervisor, the affidavit said.

The contract was to demolish and remodel portions of the interior, remove and remodel exterior portions, and construct a new addition to the rear of the residence, according to the arrest affidavit.

The affidavit said the homeowner made a down payment of $20,000 in December 2021.

In 2022, subsequent checks were issued by the homeowner of $11,130 and $9,000 on March 19; $19,130 ​​on May 2; $2,615 on May 22; $28,130 on June 10; and $28,130 on Aug. 28 — for a total payment of $118,135, the affidavit said.

McBride also had requested the checks be issued to McBride’s Handyman Service instead of A+ Handyman or to McBride herself, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said there are photographs of uncompleted construction at the home, allegedly damaged caused by rainwater, windows not sealed, open end plumbing, cracked wood and open electrical ends.

Eckenrode and McBride were arranged Monday before Magisterial District Judge Adam Stallard of Linesville.

They were released on $120,000 unsecured bond each. Preliminary hearings for both McBride and Eckenrode are scheduled for Feb. 13 before Stallard.

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at [email protected].

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