Charges: Contractor swindled customer out of deck deposit

A contractor is accused of taking a customer’s deposit for the construction of a new deck, but never completing the work.

Cody Joshua Vacek, 24, of St. Peter, was charged with felony counts of theft by swindle and theft – taking without consent – in Blue Earth County Court.

A criminal complaint says a customer reached out to Vacek on his New Acre Homes, LLC business website.  Vacek responded quickly, took measurements, and emailed the woman several estimates for a new deck, says the complaint.

Vacek allegedly cashed a $9,500 check the victim had given him as a down payment and promised the work would start no later than August 20, 2021.

The victim told investigators that Vacek was initially responsive, but then began to ignore her calls.  Vacek told her at one point that the materials were delayed, according to the complaint, and when the victim asked Vacek for her deposit back, he told her he couldn’t return it.

The victim told police she researched Vacek online and found he’d recently been convicted of theft by swindle for another incident.

Investigators contacted Vacek, who initially claimed he was still waiting for materials to come in.  He told police he would cancel the order for materials and honor the refund to the victim.

The complaint says police contacted Vacek again in early December 2021 because the victim had not been refunded.  Vacek promised to stop at the victim’s residence on December 3 for a refund, but the complaint says he never showed.

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