Syracuse Man Arrested For Home Improvement Fraud

A Syracuse man was arrested Friday for home improvement fraud.
According to a probable cause affidavit from the Kosciusko County prosecutor’s office, on Dec. 14 Stephanie Stratton contacted the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department with a complaint against Michael Kausal, 51, of 27 EMS D18A Lane, Syracuse, who has made an agreement for work at her home.
Stratton said that she worked with Kausal at Grace Village up until she was fired. In May she said she and Kausal had made an agreement for him to install a wood burning stove for her.
She said she had already purchased the stove and Kausal agreed to install the wood burner for an estimated $1,500. This amount covered Kausal’s labor and some of the extra parts needed for installation.
Stratton produced a document signed by Kausal which showed that Stratton had already started giving him payments.
Stratton paid Kausal a total of $650, with installments of $200 on May 11, $300 on May 18 and $150 on May 25.  Stratton said the payments were in cash.
After Kausal was no longer employed at Grace Village, Stratton tried to get Kausal to install the wood burner or refund her money.
Stratton had text messages between her and Kausal where he gives all kinds of excuses on the delay in returning her  money, according to the affidavit. The contact went on until August 2015 and then Kausal stopped having any contact with Stratton.
Stratton said Kausal never made any attempt to install her wood burner and has never made any attempt to repay the $650 that she had already paid him.
Kausal was arrested at 2:44 p.m. Friday and booked into the Kosciusko County jail with a $600 bond.