Crafty contractor files bankruptcy, avoids debts

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by Chris Nagus / News 4 Investigates

KMOV.com

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 3:27 AM

PIERRON, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- Customers paid a contractor thousands of dollars but he never delivered, unless you count the bankruptcy notice his customers received

Diana Boyce is fed up with Dustin Shinn. She told News 4 “I think he's frauding people.”
 
Last year, Chris Nagus met Diana in her Pierron, Illinois backyard which was a huge mess.
She hired Shinn's company, Creative Touch Outdoors, to install a paver patio. But she had to pay a different company to finish Shinn's work.
 
Last year, Nagus also met Debbie Scheutte. She also hired Dustin to install a patio. Now, Schuette's name appears on Shinn's Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing as a creditor. So does Diana Boyce's name. But Boyce told News 4 she thinks “it’s a joke.”
 
Shinn owes lots of people, with debts close to $300,000.
 
David Lander is a bankruptcy attorney at Greensfelder and teaches law at SLU. He says creditors can object to a bankruptcy, if they can make a case for fraud.

“The person has to come into court, the creditor and say this fits the exception… they defrauded me and that debt they owe me by fraud should not be discharged in bankruptcy” said Lander.
 
Ultimately it's up to the judge. Depending on assets, a chapter 13 might require some payback but according to his filing, Shinn doesn't have much in the way of assets.
 
In 2011, Shinn left Nagus a voicemail saying he was going to pay Diana Boyce back but that never happened. Boyce did not have the time or money to go to Kentucky to object to the bankruptcy.

Nagus reached out to Shinn's attorney in Kentucky for comment but he never called back.

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