SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The former owner of Sea-Thru Windows was found not guilty of a criminal charge Monday in Suffolk court.
Jeffery Pesich was facing one count of Construction Fraud.
The charge stemmed from a contract Suffolk resident Crystal Credle signed in June 2016. Credle paid $2,278 to have 14 windows replaced at her home. She told the judge a week after she signed the contract an employee came out to measure the windows, but nothing else was done.
Credle says she tried calling and emailing the company weeks later, but couldn’t get any answers.
What she didn’t know was that Sea-Thru Windows has fallen on hard times finically. The company was evicted from its Norfolk warehouse. Court documents say it owed more than $40,000 in rent.
Today, Suffolk prosecutors brought in several other alleged victims to testify, all losing thousands of dollars and never getting what they paid for.
“When I got the telephone call I was very glad to hear it was being pursued from the criminal aspect as opposed to the civil, because he needs to be accountable for his actions,” said Sea-Thru Windows customer Sonja Brewer.
Prosecutors argued that Pesich planned to steal Credle’s money when she signed the contract. Pesich’s attorney argued there was no evidence of that. He told the judge Pesich had every intention of doing the work, but had some bad business practices.
“Bad business practices aren’t criminal,” he said.
The judge ruled to dismiss the charge. He told the courtroom there was no evidence Pesich had intent to take Credle’s money. The judge said there was a breach of contract, but that would be a civil matter.
“I’m very disappointed,” Credle said.
Credle has already taken Pesich to civil court and was awarded a judgement for her lost money. She still is yet to be paid though.
Last year, Attorney General Mark Herring filed suit against Pesich on behalf of dozens of victims in Hampton Roads.
Two months ago a Virginia Beach judge ordered Pesich to pay nearly $150,000 in restitution for defrauding homeowners.