WENTZVILLE, Mo. – Steffanie Haertling paid Tri-County Fence and Deck more than $30,000 for a pair of projects at her Wentzville home.

“After about August 16, we were just ghosted,” Haertling said.

She said the checks got cashed, but the work never started.

“We probably won’t see any of our money back,” Haertling said.

Haertling filed a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, and she wasn’t alone. In September 2022, a spokesperson from the AG’s office said it had received 52 complaints against Tri-County Fence and Deck.

Fast forward to May 2023, and Tri-County’s owner, Craig Sutton, now faces nearly two dozen felony charges. The counts include stealing $25,000 or more, deceptive business practices, and financial exploitation of the elderly or disabled. Court documents detailed narratives from 10 consumers who reported a combined loss of nearly $73,000 after hiring Sutton and Tri-County to provide services that were never performed as promised.

FOX 2 spoke with Sutton’s son back in September about the allegations his father faced. He said Craig isn’t a bad man and that this wasn’t his intention, adding that his father was trying to navigate some complicated legal matters at the time. Now charged with crimes related to his business dealings, Sutton’s legal matters have become even more complicated.

“It’s frustrating because now I’m starting from square one,” Haertling said.

For the customers Sutton is accused of stealing from, these charges bring them a step closer to getting justice.