Bay City builder charged with theft by contractor

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Unpaid construction bills led to a felony charge against a Bay City builder.

Pierce County prosecutors charged Hartland Builders Corp. owner Bjorn L. Bang with one count of felony theft by contractor. The 40-year-old makes his initial court appearance Feb. 12.

According to a criminal complaint:

A Maiden Rock homeowner reported in March 2017 that a St. Paul contracting firm placed a lien on his property.

The action occurred after the homeowner, William Hayman Jr., paid Hartland Builders for carpentry work in 2016. Hayman told a Pierce County sheriff's deputy he paid Hartland the full $24,604 bill.

"William told me he thought everything was fine until he received a certified letter in the mail" in November 2016.

The letter, from ABC Supply Co., was for an intent to file a lien against the property.

Hayman contacted Hartland owner Bang about the problem. Bang replied that the company had fallen behind on its accounts but was working out a payment plan with ABC, a subcontracting firm.

Hayman received an official lien notice in January 2017 for nearly $7,000. Hayman, who lives in Houston, showed up at the sheriff's office in May 2017 to talk about the unresolved issue. Shortly after, the investigating deputy unsuccessfully tried contacting Bang. The deputy tried again in October, but reached a phone that had been disconnected but eventually spoke with him later that same day.

Bang told the deputy he'd filed for bankruptcy and didn't want to talk. He referred the deputy's questions to his attorney.