Tahlequah Daily Press

February 6, 2014

Self-proclaimed ‘pastor’ sought in construction scam

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Authorities in Cherokee County are looking for a man who has allegedly taken tens of thousands of dollars from people in at least two states.

Prosecutors in Cherokee County have filed a felony embezzlement charge against 46-year-old William Frank Mounce, of Barnsdall. Court documents allege Mounce fraudulently appropriated more than $2,000 from Brian Nutt Sr., who hired Mounce to build a garage last year.

“[Mounce] took said money, did little construction in exchange and caused liens to be sought against the victim’s property,” court documents allege.

Cherokee County Sheriff’s Capt. Bob Sanders has been investigating the case since September, when Nutt filed a report with deputies.

Nutt paid Mounce $1,500 with the stipulation that Mounce use the money to purchase building supplies. The job was set to begin around Oct. 1, 2013. A concrete slab was poured, but Sanders said the slab was not square, so more concrete had to be ordered and the first slab removed.

One of Mounce’s employees allegedly wrote a check to a company for the additional concrete, but the check was later determined to be insufficient.

“Mr. Nutt had to pay $369.75 to stop a lien from being placed on his property,” Sanders reported.

Sanders later learned Mounce was being sought by Arkansas authorities for a charge of theft by deception.

“I found out he was living in Barnsdall, and Arkansas authorities told us they would come get him if he was arrested,” Sanders said.

Mounce was booked into jail in Barnsdall, according to Sanders, and sent back to Arkansas, but he later posted bond in that state. With the latest charges out of Cherokee County, authorities hope they can again find Mounce.

“There are apparently more victims who have encountered Mr. Mounce,” Sanders said.

Authorities have spoken to victims in several Oklahoma counties, and the total losses so far are estimated at more than $70,000.

Victims in other counties have also filed police reports, and Sanders expects other prosecutors will eventually charge Mounce.

Mounce has gone by other names, including Billy Mounce, Bil Mounce, and William Frank, according to authorities. He has listed his services under several names, including “The Store,” “Kraftmade Cabinetry,” and “Dayspring Services,” according to victims and online sites dedicated to warning others of Mounce’s alleged scams.

Nutt said Mounce has been on at least 78 different online sites, advertising his construction services. To some victims, Mounce has allegedly confessed to previous troubles with the law, but claims he has “turned his life over to Jesus” and is now a pastor.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com