Arrest Warrant Issued for
West Valley Unlicensed Entity
Accused of Skipping Out on Jobs
A Surprise judge issued a warrant for the arrest of a West Valley landscape contractor who has been accused of taking money for jobs and walking away.
Hassayampa Justice of the Peace Miles Keegan issued the warrant Dec. 19 for Surprise resident Bill Schlosser after he failed to appear at a pretrial conference earlier in the month.
In that case, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office is charging Schlosser, 41, with contracting without a license.
There are several other cases and claims pending against Schlosser related to his work in the West Valley during the last few years, some of which involve jobs performed under the business name Modern Outdoor.
Neither Schlosser or his attorney responded to The Arizona Republic's request for comment.
Victims claim Schlosser took thousands of dollars from them for hardscaping and landscaping projects, failed to finish the projects, and then disappeared. In August, The Republic spoke with five West Valley families who said they were his victims.
At the time, city, county and state investigators were reviewing several claims against Schlosser and a few had been passed onto the Maricopa County Attorney's Office with recommended charges.
Now, the County Attorney's Office has filed charges against Schlosser and the Surprise Police Department is still investigating two cases.
The case for which Schlosser failed to appear in court involved Surprise residents Aaron and Rebecca Weeks, one of the families TheRepublic spoke to this summer.
Homeowners hope they've helped protect others
The Weekses say they hired Schlosser to build an outdoor barbecue, fireplace and pergola and install pavers in their backyard. The couple paid him $11,700 in advance but most of the work did not get done and the contractors were not paid, they said.
Aaron Weeks said in a phone interview this week that he hopes that anyone who knows where Schlosser is will call police. He and his wife went forward with their case as a form of community service, he said, to protect other residents from being scammed.
If Schlosser moves to another community, Weeks said, he could do this again.
"I'm glad that we were able to get him away from the West Valley," Weeks said. "Maybe I protected some neighbors."
Other active cases
In other charges filed by the County Attorney's Office, a Peoria man claims that, on Dec. 19, 2017, Schlosser advertised his ability to perform a service and engaged in a contract with him, without obtaining a contractor's license.
Also on Dec. 19, 2017, according to another case, Schlosser wrote a bad check knowing there wasn't enough in his bank account at the time.
The timeline on those claims reveals that Schlosser's money issues may have started long before many of the families The Republic spoke to this summer first dealt with him. The Weekses, for example, first started paying Schlosser in March.
Contracting without a license is against law
Contracting without a license is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona.
On first offense, it's punishable with a fine of at least $1,000. On second offense, or any other subsequent offense, the fine is at least $2,000.
Knowingly writing a bad check is also a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail, three years of probation and a $2,500 fine.
People have filed claims against Schlosser to several different agencies in the state. This is because people who believe they have been a victim of a contracting scam can take many different paths for recourse.
Victims can file a civil lawsuit, file a complaint to the Registrar of Contractors, file a criminal report with their local police department or file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's Office.
If someone thinks they lost money in a contracting scam, experts say the first step should be to call police. The more proof, such as written contracts, receipts or copies of emails or texts, the better, said Sgt. Tim Klarkowski, a Surprise police spokesman.