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CBS 58 Investigates: Felon contractor using fake names, accents to fool customers

CBS 58 Investigates: Felon contractor using fake names, accents to fool customers

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WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A conman contractor is back at it. David Ward claims to be a contractor and a pastor when in reality he's a convicted felon, who's swindled tens of thousands of dollars.

CBS 58 investigates has followed the story for years and earlier this month, reported that Ward is back to his old tricks.

Ward is on probation. He can't work as an independent contractor. Earlier this month, we reported Ward got out of jail, moved to Madison and is doing contracting work again. After the story aired, even more people came forward saying he is in fact working alone.

At the end of August, Debb Lins hired David Ward to do some work around her condo after seeing posts about his contracting work on Nextdoor, a neighborhood social networking site.

"He shared with me that he does work for a contracting company, but that the work that he was doing on nextdoor was for himself,” Lins said. “He was doing it on the side."

She paid him cash and even left a positive review on Nextdoor. She didn't think much of it, until November 1 when ward called and texted her, saying they needed to talk.

"He said I’m going to level with you, Debb, I’m on probation and I am not supposed to be doing this so I need you to take that off, that post off,” Lins said. “And then he said, um, if my probation agent calls and I doubt that she will, I need you to tell her that all of the work i did for you was through my company."

Ward's call came just days after CBS 58 investigates confronted him about the work he's doing in Madison.

After that story aired, people on Nextdoor started posting more concerns.

"People are shocked," Lins said.

One post said, “He [Ward] did write up a contract with Committed Contracting but then said he could give us a better price if we didn't go with the contract so he tore it up."

One woman says she is not satisfied with the Ward did and that he told her he's a pastor at Door Creek Church.

CBS 58 investigates checked, he's not.

Lins says he never told her he was a pastor, instead he called himself “Cowboy” and spoke with a fake accent.

"He did speak with a southern accent, yeah, that was really interesting," Lins said.

When we contacted the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, which oversees people on probation, in early November, a spokeswoman told CBS 58 investigates they conducted an extensive investigation and found Ward was working for Committed Contracting and not in violation of his probation.

However after seeing our story, Ward's probation officer contacted us, asking for more details and is now reexamining the case.

Lins says ward did dozens of jobs in the area and it breaks her heart to know everyone was paying Ward and the money likely wasn't going to pay off his past victims.

"I think that we need to try and right this wrong,” Lins said. “That's why I’m here tonight talking to you."

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