Joliet contractor accused of fraud, wanted in 3 suburban counties

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- The ABC7 I-Team has an update on the man accused of home repair fraud who faces charges in 3 different counties. The contractor may be on the run.

The contractor in question currently faces several theft and fraud charges. Now, there are warrants out for his arrest for not showing up to court and not reporting to jail.

Grundy County, DuPage County and Will County authorities all looking for Joseph M. Hisel.

When the I-Team tracked Hisel down two years ago, it reported on claims that he left two Joliet families with unfinished basements and thousands of dollars in debt. They hired him through his business, JH Carpentry.

In addition to those customers, Grundy County documents claim Hisel took $5,000 from one homeowner to build and install a fence. Prosecutors allege he failed to perform any work or even purchase materials.

The Grundy County prosecutor said Hisel didn't show up to his most recent court hearing on three charges. They issued a warrant in May.

In Will County, it's the same story. There is an April warrant out for his arrest connected to two felony theft charges.

The I-Team also learned this week that Hisel made a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to a theft by deception charge in DuPage County. He was sentenced to 60 days behind bars and ordered to pay $3,100 in restitution to a customer.

DuPage County officials said he never turned himself in at the beginning of April, and they too issued a warrant for his arrest.

The I-Team called Hisel's business number for JH Carpentry, but it was disconnected.

Hisel has also apparently used other business names, which is one reason consumer experts say you should thoroughly research anyone you hire. They say you should also use your credit card to pay and make your payments in thirds.
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