Hennepin and Wright County Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators, accompanied by Maple Grove Police Department, conducted a search on the home and property of Richard Wooton Wednesday, Sept. 19. Witnesses said the “raid” happened early Wednesday morning.
The legal action comes just weeks after Crossroads Remodeling, operated by Richard Wooten, has been targeted by dozens of Twin Cities homeowners to “pay up” on more than a half of a million dollars in projects that aren’t completed or even started, according to multiple media reports.
The company is facing trouble from state agencies that oversee the construction and remodeling industry as well. Crossroads voluntarily turned in its licensing according to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
Crossroads has been the subject of two investigative reports by ABC affiliate KSTP. The first focused on Wooten and former partner/project manager Dustan Petron of Rogers, who said Wooten had held up hundreds of thousands of dollars in projects by not paying contractors and – flat out – not doing work promised to homeowners who had already paid thousands of dollars up front.
Petron left the company.
Another partner remains listed as one of the business owners. But the state said Crossroads is going out of business, with no plans to continue operating according to Charlie Durenberger, the director of licensing and enforcement at Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
Attorney Pat O’Donnell, of Monticello, issued a statement to homeowners still waiting for work or money returned to them. He advised homeowners to submit complaints to the Contractor Recovery Fund. A Rogers homeowner told KSTP that will leave him just pennies on the dollar for the $16,000 he put down, as the state is only appropriating $300,000 through the fund to be spread to the nearly 50 homeowners who were awaiting work.
Richard Wooton’s record shows he is a convicted felon and served time in prison for various crimes such as swindling, theft, fraud, assault, burglary and worthless checks. In one interview, the state head of licensing (for contractors) said just Wooton’s name “causes concern” because of his past history. He owes the state more than $90,000, KSTP reports, for fines and operating without a license.
The KSTP story says he circumvented the licensing issue this time around by utilizing his partners and his using his wife, Debbie Larson-Wooton. Larson-Wooton is a principal at Maranatha Christian Academy Christian School. Richard Wooton’s LinkedIn profile states he is the owner of the business, but a state agent says in the KSTP story Wooton is not to be licensed as the owner of any construction or trades business due to his violations.
O’Donnell refuted the reports on his client’s behalf, saying the Wootons and Crossroads “has at all times operated its business so as to best serve its customers and its community.”
Multiples calls and e-mails to the Wootons by KSTP were not returned, reporter Beth McDonogh reported.
Here’s a look at the two reports from KSTP:
Editor’s note: Crossroads Remodeling, LLC, should NOT be confused with Crossroad Construction of Ham Lake, which continues to operate in good standing with the state and the BBB.