LAKE WALES, Fla. (WFLA) — A Lake Wales contractor was arrested after deputies said he took thousands of dollars from a customer for a construction job he never started.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said 45-year old Don “Stephen” Wildmon turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

According to deputies, the victim contacted Wildmon in Jan. 2021 about an addition to his Davenport home. The contract for the work was signed on Feb. 21, 2021.

The victim paid $23,500 up front with work set to begin that April and be completed within 90 days.

PCSO said they were contacted by the victim in Oct. 2021, several months after the project was supposed to be completed, saying that contruction hadn’t even started yet.

The sheriff’s office said they called Wildmon soon after, who agreed to refund the victim his money. The victim contacted deputies again on Feb. 9 when he never received the money.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said an investigation showed Wildmon never even paid for building permits.

“He did no work, and made no effort to repay the victim,” Sheriff Judd said. “Thoroughly research anyone you plan to hire, it could save you big headaches and big money.”

Wildmon was charged with obtaining by fraud and grand theft. He was bailed out of jail on two $5,000 bonds.