Victims move on after Ives scam

BARK RIVER – A Bark River couple who paid Jason Bradley Ives $100,000 to build them a home would have never hired him had they been warned of the contractor’s past scams.

“We found out later that other people had issues with him,” commented Jim Andersen in an e-mail to the Daily Press.

Andersen and his wife, Jeanette, paid Ives to construct them a home in June 2010 with a completion date of Dec. 3, 2010.

Despite Ives not fulfilling his end of the contract for more than a year, the Andersen’s held on to hope that he would come through.

After more than a year of begging Ives to build their home, the couple sought criminal charges against him, stated Andersen, who continues to finish his house.

“I had talked to a lawyer, the police, and the building inspector to assess my options, but never asked for a formal investigation until around September 2011, always hoping he might at some point actually do what he promised,” stated Andersen.

When Ives showed up for a couple hours for two days during a three-week period, Andersen said there was no more hope Ives would finish the work promised so he filed a complaint with the state police.

Two years later, Ives was convicted of one count of larceny by conversion $20,000 or more and was sentenced to 11 months in jail, five years probation, and more than $72,684 restitution to the Andersens.

The restitution included the purchase of construction materials, the victims’ labor costs to finish the home, and reimbursement for rental on a cabin and storage sheds because the home was not completed by the defendant as promised.

Ives was also convicted of one count of being an unlicensed residential builder and was sentenced to 172 days in jail. He was given credit on both counts for 172 days already served in the Delta County Jail on other convictions.

“If others had tried to hold him accountable for past scams, we would never have entered into a contract with him,” Andersen said. “No one pursued it because of the cost of civil litigation.”

Andersen went on to say, “I would like everyone to be aware of Jason Ives and the scams he has done. Maybe just making others aware of Jason’s deceitful ways, with zero remorse, will keep someone else from being taken advantage of.”

Prior to Ives’ conviction regarding the Andersen home, he was convicted of three other scams in Delta County receiving three concurrent sentencings of six months, six months, and eight months.

In the latest court ruling in Menominee County, Ives was convicted on a high-court misdemeanor relating to a remodeling project at the home of Cole and Misty Nehring of Hermansville. Ives pleaded guilty to being an unlicensed contractor while remodeling their home.

In September, he was placed on probation for one year and ordered to pay $205 in fines and costs to the court and $10,000 restitution to the Nehring’s.

Misty Nehring described the court process as “a very long, trying battle.” Though a judgment was issued by the court in their favor, she and her husband don’t anticipate ever being reimbursed by Ives, she added.

“He truly is a con artist, a scam artist,” said Nehring, warning others to be aware of his past crimes.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs released disciplinary action against Ives in November, charging him with two $5,000 fines for code violations in the Andersen and Nehring projects. (See related story.)

His license revocation continued from a previous ruling regarding a home he partially constructed in Rapid River. The agency fined him $10,000 and ordered him to pay $104,680 restitution to the homeowners, who were from Milwaukee.